Friday, June 19, 2015

Hannah W. Smith's Mentor in the Sexual Baptism, Dr. Foster; part 18 of 21 in Hannah W. Smith: Keswick Founder, Higher Life Preacher, Quaker Quietist and Universalist Heretic

            Dr. Foster, while “a lifelong Methodist,” was “interdenominational” in his religious spirit.[1]  Thus:
Dr. Foster insisted upon . . . [the] chapel [at his sanitarium] . . . be[ing] purely interdenominational spirit and life. . . . He established the custom that the Holy Sacrament should be administered every month, the form for one month being that used by Episcopalians and Methodists, and alternating the next time with the form observed by Presbyterians and others. [People] counted one Sabbath morning when . . . the kneeling form [was administered, and] twenty-six religious bodies [were] represented by those partaking. Following the public service the Chaplain always administered the rite privately in their rooms to those requesting it.[2]
Indeed, Foster’s sanatarium “ha[d] always been noted for its prevailing fairness and charity towards different types of religious belief, [so that] all grades from the highest ritualism to the simplicity of the society of Friends, have felt perfectly at home. . . . [F]requently . . . Roman Catholic Priests and Bishops . . . seemed to appreciate the place and enjoy it.”[3]  Nobody was warned about his false religion, whether the Catholic sacramental and ritualistic false gospel or the rejection of justification by faith alone based on the imputed righteousness of Christ alone taught by the Quakers.  Foster “was never happier than when sharing or promoting interdenominational fellowship.”[4]  Indeed:
All the churches of the village received from [Mr. Foster] substantial help at various times. . . . When the Roman Catholics erected their new Church edifice in 1895, the Doctor made a substantial contribution, and rented a pew in it each year thereafter, which custom is continued to the present. Annual offerings were made by him to all the Protestant churches and that custom is continued to the present.[5]
Mr. Foster loved ecumenical fellowship with false teachers of all sorts.
Dr. Foster’s religious ecumenicalism extended to an ecumenicalism of healing praxis:
“Allopathy,” “Water Cure,” “Homeopathy,” “Mind Cure,” “Faith Cure,” were to him members of a group in the therapeutic family.  He . . . look[ed] for the higher unity, treating each as a segment in the full circle . . . allopathy, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, mental therapy, and the prayer of faith . . . belong[ed] to one great healing family.[6]
Thus, Foster believed in homeopathy, although it was obviously demonic in its origin and practice,[7] in hydropathy, although it was intimately associated with spiritualism and demonism,[8] and in Mind Cure—which was, indeed, associated with Faith Cure—although it was likewise essentially a form of pagan and demonic medicine based upon untestable mystical energies.[9]  The nineteenth century Mind and Faith Cure movements, which were part of the warp and woof of the Keswick theology and at the root of the Pentecostal and charismatic movement, developed out of a common background in mesmerism, vitalism, homeopathy, and other pagan and demonic ideas, and cannot be separated into distinct and unrelated phenomena.[10]  Thus, despite its demonic origin, at Foster’s sanitarium “[t]he prevailing method of administering medicines was homeopathic.”[11]  Dr. Foster “became a hydropathic practitioner, then he saw in homeopathy special adaptation to chronic cases, then he awoke to the large realm of mental therapy.”  He “was profoundly impressed with the effect of mind over matter. The relation of the mind or the spirit to disease, he concluded, was a subject of prime importance. . . . [T]his led to his seeking for a new place where he could establish his practice and work out his ideas unmolested,” that is, his sanitarium, where “he came with a protest and also with a purpose. . . . his highest thought was in relation to the effect of the mind over the body in disease.[12]  Discovery of the power of Mind Cure was “the greatest event in his life.”[13]  Thus, Dr. Foster taught the doctrine of Mary Baker Eddy’s cult of “Christian Science,” which  “aligns itself with . . . pantheistic idea[s] . . . [and teaches that] [s]in is like sickness and death, and these are errors of the mind and can therefore be completely overcome by ‘mind cure,’” so that “thoughts are things, thoughts are forces, and therefore as a man thinks, so is he.”[14]  Dr. Foster, as an important part of the basis for the later Keswick healing theology, combined Mind and Faith Cure, saying:
Take this law and power of faith, and take the law of the influence of mind over the body, and put them together and see what you get.  You get something that will work . . . It was the acceptance of this truth that decided me to try and establish a house where these truths . . . the power of the mind over the body, and the salutary effects of a constant religious faith upon the sick . . . should be enforced.[15]
Foster “was a firm believer in the effect of mind over matter—over disease. . . . [This belief] pervaded the whole institution. . . . Whatever good there is in Christian Science [the cult of Mary B. Eddy], in the Emmanuel Movement, and in modern faith healing he brought to bear in his therapeutics[.]”[16]  Thus, “prayer to God was a force in nature, as real as the law of gravitation,”[17] rather than simply a petitioning of that God who was above nature and does, in accordance with His will, intervene in nature.  In this way, practicing “[m]ental hygiene and mental therapy . . . as well as the great therapeutic value of religious faith . . . the ‘Emmanuel Movement’ at Boston, of which so much has been said with its slogan ‘Religion and Medicine,’ was anticipated by Henry Foster.”[18]  Although the Bible taught that much of Dr. Foster’s practice was demonic in origin, his practices were confirmed to him by a vision.  He stated:
I presented my whole life again to God; the entire interests of the Sanitarium, and my relations with it. While thus contemplating the work, the Holy Spirit came upon me, filling me with His presence, and I saw what seemed to be a rainbow. The base of it was there on [a] mountain inclosing me; it went up to the mercy seat; the other base came down and rested here in Clifton Springs, over the house [sanitarium]. . . . I looked at it, and I saw there were streams going up, and then there were streams going down, and resting upon me. I was re-energized, and so much so that I became astonished . . . that settled me, strengthened me, proved to me that the teaching was from God, and from God alone[.][19]
Surely such a vision was sufficient proof that his pagan and demonic philosophies and practices were acceptable to God.
As a result of Foster’s vision, received at the time of his “pentecostal baptism of the Holy Spirit”—physical sexual thrills because of erotic bride mysticism—he founded his Water Cure:
[He] saw that his pentecost was not for its own sake, but was given to prepare him for such a work. He prayed, and light came. He had a vision of the institution God would give him,—just as definite a vision as Moses had of the Tabernacle in the Mount; and as Moses was to make all things according to the pattern showed him in the Mount, so God had in vision outlined the work he was to do, and he must follow the pattern.[20]
When Mr. Foster experienced his “real baptism of the Holy Spirit and of power” he also gained “a vision like Paul’s when he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, a call and a commission like that of the prophet Jeremiah, or of Isaiah in the temple—an imperative call when his whole soul was filled and thrilled,” and in this manner the spirit world led him to “the beginnings of the Sanitarium and of this pentecostal baptism” that was both its its erotic origination and an element of its religious proclamation.[21]  At his hydropathic and homeopathic healing house, he sought to bring especially “Christian workers, such as clergymen, teachers, and missionaries who are peculiarly liable to physical and nervous breakdown . . . [that they might] come to his institution and remain long enough for a cure.”[22]  Consequently, “at least seventy or eighty thousand” patients came to the sanitarium, including “presidents of colleges, professors, lawyers, judges, ministers, bishops, all classes of men, literary men and literary women, some of the most renowned in the land. There have been [there] thousands of the foremost cultivated men and women of America, and some from other lands,” so that a vast “spiritual influence,” more, in the mind of some, than from “any institution” else, went out to influence the “intellectual and moral” climate of America,[23] and, indeed, the world, as the sanitarium “bec[a]me a center of missionary interest and activity. Dr. Foster’s invitation to foreign Missionaries of all Mission Boards to come to the Sanitarium for needed rest and treatment, and his concessions as to cost . . . brought hundreds of them.”[24]  Note the Pearsall Smiths alone, but other Keswick leaders, such as A. T. Pierson, could praise “Dr. Henry Foster, of Clifton Springs, N. Y.[,]” for “all who came in contact with him bear testimony to the elevating effect of his spirituality of life” and his “benevolence . . . [to] the cause of missions.”  After all, “for some years the International Missionary Union . . . held . . . [at] Clifton Springs . . . its annual sessions.”[25]  Many came, and, like Robert and Hannah Smith, also left with both Dr. Foster’s love for Faith and Mind Cure and his vile doctrine of physical bridal-union in mystical Spirit baptism.



This entire study can be accessed here.




[1]              Pg. 26, Life of Henry Foster, M. D., Founder Clifton Springs Sanitarium, Samuel Adams Hawley.  Clifton Springs, NY: Sanatarium Board of Trustees, 1921.
[2]              Pg. 98, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.  Administering the elements of the Lord’s Supper kneeling supports the Roman Catholic idea that the bread changes into God and is an error, as is giving it to people in private.  The Biblical mandate for unity is that “all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10).  Such unity is an essential aspect of the Scriptural celebration of the Supper (1 Corinthians 11:18-21; 10:17), but it is impossible among twenty-six denominations with different doctrines and practices—indeed, it is impossible outside the context of an individual true church.
[3]           Pgs. 146-147, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.
[4]              Pg. 157, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.
[5]           Pg. 75, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.
[6]              Pgs. 26, 157, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.
[7]              See pgs. 263-314, Can You Trust Your Doctor? The Complete Guide to New Age Medicine and Its Threat to Your Family, John Ankerberg & John Weldon.  Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1991;  “The New Age in Health Care,” David Cloud (Fundamental Baptist Information Service, November 3, 2008); elec. acc. Fundamental Baptist CD-ROM Library.
[8]              Historians generally recognize the association between hydropathy or Water Cure and spiritualism:
In water cure, Spiritualists found a medical system in sympathy with their reform orientation.  Also called hydropathy, water cure was a therapeutic approach imported from Europe in 1843 that relied on the internal consumption and external application of cold water for the prevention and cure of all diseases.  Spiritualists . . . embraced water cure because of its appeal to the laws of nature embodied in each human being as the source of healing and because of the reform principles of its leaders.  Hydropathy relied on the natural curative tendencies of the individual rather than on intervention by an authoritative medical expert. . . . Water cure establishments provided a fertile environment for the development of many of the ideas advocated by Spiritualist health reformers.  (pg. 154, Radical Spirits:  Spiritualism and Women’s Rights in Nineteenth-Century America, Ann Braude. 2nd ed.)
Thus, “[a]long with homeopathy and animal magnetism, hydropathy was a favorite cure among the Spiritualists” (pg. 116, Plato’s Ghost:  Spiritualism in the American Renaissance, Cathy Gutierrez).
                Of course, water itself is something God made, and some people who went to Water Cures just liked to get wet, while others were were simply ignorant or dupes of quacks;  not all were intentional devotees of Satan.
[9]              Dr. Foster noted:  “Spiritualism had its birth just north of us” (pg. 33, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley).
[10]            As the Mind Cure and homeopathy, which developed from mesmerism and vitalism, undergirds the Faith Cure in men like the homeopathic doctors Dr. Foster and Dr. Cullis, who were themselves roots of the Higher Life and Faith Cure doctrines of people like William Boardman and Hannah and Robert Pearsall Smith, so Mary Baker Eddy’s Christian Science developed from the “mind-cure . . . homeopathy . . . mesmerism . . . and the magnetic doctor, Mr. P. P. Quimby,” from whom “she had learned her system.”  “Quimby was . . . the founder of the whole school of Mental-Healers which . . . flourished in America through the . . . half-century [of the late 1900s]” (pgs. 272-274, Counterfeit Miracles, Warfield).  The Mind Cure involved one convincing himself he was not really sick, but perfectly healthy, and believing it was so, because of a healing Power;  the Faith Cure likewise involved one convincing himself that he was not really sick, but pefectly healthy, and believing it was so, because of a healing Power.  The Faith and Mind Cures were by no means two separated and unrelated phenomena, but were the same fundamental error and two names or emphases of one and the same movement.
For more information see, e. g., James Monroe Buckley, Faith-Healing, Christian Science and Kindred Phenomena (New York: The Century Co., 1898); Paul G. Chappell, “The Divine Healing Movement in America” (Ph. D. diss., Drew University, 1983); Heather D. Curtis, “‘The Lord for the Body’: Pain, Suffering and the Practice of Divine Healing in Late-Nineteenth-Century American Protestantism.” (Th. D. diss., Harvard University, 2005).
[11]            Pg. 57, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.  Foster’s brother “Dr. Hubbard became an avowed and pronounced homeopathist,” and, naturally, Foster had “intimate association with his brother, Dr. Hubbard” (pgs. 17-18, ibid.).
[12]            Pgs. 169-170, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.
[13]            Pg. 169, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.
[14]            Pg. 161, Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 4: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, Herman Bavinck.
[15]            Pgs. 23-25, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.
[16]            Pgs. 174-175, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.
[17]            Pg. 90, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.
[18]            Pgs. 22-26, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.
[19]            Pgs. 54-56, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.  Foster stated that his vision “was a mental thing, of course, but it was a reality to me” (pg. 55, ibid.)
[20]            Pg. 27, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley; see pg. 33.
[21]            Pgs. 18-21, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.
[22]            Pg. 27, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.
[23]            Pgs. 140-141, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.
[24]            Pg. 81, Life of Henry Foster, Hawley.
[25]            Pgs. 230-231, The Modern Mission Century Viewed as a Cycle of Divine Working, Arthur T. Pierson.  New York, NY:  Baker & Taylor Co., 1901.  The closer the contact, the higher the elevation, no doubt.

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