Friday, April 10, 2015

Broadlands is Keswick: part 13 of 21 in Hannah W. Smith: Keswick Founder, Higher Life Preacher, Quaker Quietist and Universalist Heretic

The Mount-Temples’s Broadlands Conference was the launching point for the Keswick movement;  all the key Keswick theological distinctives were there in place.[1] 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.[2]  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.[3]  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.[4]  Broadlands taught the standard Keswick Quietism and its associated continuationism.[5]  The standard pattern of progressive daily topics at the Keswick Convention was that of Broadlands.[6]  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,[7] 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.[8]
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.[9]  He received rhapsodic and hagiographical praise from key Keswick men such as Charles Fox,[10] the poet of Keswick and its closing preacher for two decades.[11] He developed the practice of “open[ing] every meeting”[12] at the Broadlands Conferences, where he “urged upon his hearers the need of a higher spiritual life” and promoted Quietism.[13]  Furthermore, his influence was by no means limited to Broadlands, but “he often preached”[14] 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:[15]
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.[16]
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[.][17]
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.[18]  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[.]”[19]  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.”[20]  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.”[21]  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.



This entire study can be accessed here.




[1]              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.
[2]              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).
[3]              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.
[4]              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).
[5]              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).
[6]              Pgs. 124-125, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[7]              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.).
[8]              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.
[9]              Pg. 175, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[10]          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).
[11]            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)
[12]            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.
[13]            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).
[14]            Pg. 183, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[15]            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).
[16]            Pgs. 171-172, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.
[17]            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.
[18]            Pg. 27, Forward Movements, Pierson.
[19]            Pg. 24, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[20]            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.
[21]            Pg. 147, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple.  London:  Printed for private circulation, 1890.

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