Friday, March 13, 2015

Hannah W. Smith, the Continuation of Miraculous Gifts, and the Root of Keswick at the Broadlands Conventions: part 11 of 21 in Hannah W. Smith: Keswick Founder, Higher Life Preacher, Quaker Quietist and Universalist Heretic

            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.”[1]  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.”[2]  Many “hours of vision” and “dreams . . . came to the worshippers at Broadlands.”[3]  In fact, even the poet Wordsworth[4] had received visions like those of Isaiah, Moses, Paul, and the participants  at the Broadlands Conferences.[5]  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.”[6]  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.[7]  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.[8]  They were conversant with homeopaths.[9]  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.”[10]  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.[11]  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,”[12] Mrs. Mount Temple declared, by a revelation and by inspiration.  The Conference was then “led by Mr. Pearsall Smith” in a “wonderfully inspired way,”[13] even as Mr. Mount Temple’s speeches were “so inspired in utterance”[14] 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.”[15]  Indeed, women preachers—“inspired wom[e]n”—gave “inspired addresses,”[16] 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[17] 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”[18] . . . 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.[19] . . . Every age[20] has its seers, its dreamers of dreams, its men of [supernatural] insight . . . [such men] are needed. . . . The seer brings us new knowledge[21] . . . 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.[22]
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,[23] 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.”[24]  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”[25] 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”![26]  Thus, at that first Broadlands Conference, as at subsequent ones, the universalist Andrew Jukes proclaimed his heresies with “inspired wisdom.”[27]  Antoinette Sterling, consistent with “her Quaker upbringing . . . seemed as much inspired in the choice of her songs as in the rendering of them,”[28] 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.”[29]  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,”[30] 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.”[31]  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.”[32]




This entire study can be accessed here.



[1]              Pg. 125, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[2]              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.
[3]              Pg. 266, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.  Italics in original.
[4]              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.
[5]              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.
[6]              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.
[7]              Pgs. 129-130, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[8]              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.
[9]           Cf. Pg. 8, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[10]            Pgs. 108-109, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[11]            Pgs. 136-137, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[12]            Pgs. 117-118, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[13]            Pg. 186, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[14]            Pgs. 108-109, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[15]            Pg. 123, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[16]            Pgs. 71-73, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[17]            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.
[18]            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).
[19]            That is, men who do not experience inspiration from the Divine Seed in them are missing out on what is most important in life.
[20]            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.”
[21]            That is, truths not found in Scripture are revealed by the Inner Light.
[22]            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.
[23]            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).
[24]            Pgs. 214-215, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[25]            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.
[26]            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.
[27]            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.
[28]            Pgs 62, 113, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[29]            Pgs. 113, 266, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[30]            Pg. 115, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[31]            Pg. 170, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[32]            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.

1 comment:

KJB1611 said...

Mrs. Smith's belief in the continuation of the spiritual gifts was propagated among all the important Keswick leaders and explains at least in part the significant role Keswick played in the rise of Pentecostalism.