Keswick’s heavy Quaker influence illustrates the failure among its leadership to separate from even the most serious of errors and a lack of discernment about what is involved in even being a Christian at all. For example its co-founder Robert Wilson was a Quaker, and from its inception the Keswick convention allowed those in soul-damning error, such as the Quaker Hannah Whitall Smith, to mold its doctrinal position. Holiness, sanctification, and separation share the same word group in the Hebrew and Greek languages, and the disobedience of the Keswick Convention to the Biblical commands to practice ecclesiastical separation cleary hinder its intention of promoting holiness. Compromise on any area of the truth hinders growth in holiness, for sanctification takes place by means of the truth (John 17:17). What the Keswick Convention boasts of as a strength, “that no man or woman has ever been known, through the influence or under its teaching, to leave one communion for another,” so that “those who accept the Keswick teaching and enter into the [Keswick] experience . . . incline to remain where they are . . . [even in] moribund or dead churches,” is no strength at all, but, in fact, a very serious weakness. Keswick unites those professing paedobaptism and believer’s baptism; those who think that sprinkled infants are Christians and those who believe that one must be converted to become a Christian; those who advocate hierarchical denominational structures and those who practice congregational church government; those who believe in liturgical ritualism and those who accept the regulative principle of worship; those who preach the inherent goodness of man inherent in the Quaker “Divine seed” heresy and those who accept the total depravity of man; and those who embrace corrupt sacramental gospels with those who profess the true gospel of justification by faith alone through Christ alone apart from religious ceremonies. When all such, together with sundry sorts of other doctrinal deviants, get together for a “united communion service,” one can be happy that the Lord’s Supper is not really being practiced, as only true Baptist churches can celebrate it, for the gross doctrinal and practical disharmony might lead to many suffering serious illness or early death (1 Corinthians 11:30) as Divine judgment. In sum, Keswick ecumenicalism is unscriptural and dangerous.
A related error of Keswick, which developed out of the identical position at Broadlands and which accorded well with the ecumenicalism of the movement, is that it “is interested in the practical application of religious truth rather than in doctrinal or dogmatic theology.” Biblically, no disjunction exists between doctrine and practice—on the contrary, sound doctrine and practice mutually reinforce each other (1 Timothy 4:16). In keeping with its belittling of Biblical doctrine, Keswick has produced an ocean of non-doctrinal books, “many volumes of devotional literature.” This non-dogmatic “literature of the Convention . . . ha[s] circulated far and wide . . . throughout the world.” Likewise, myriads of “addresses [have been] given at the Convention year after year for over seventy-five years.” Nevertheless, “Keswick furnishes us with no formal treatise of its doctrine of sin, and no carefully prepared, weighty discourses of a theological nature” of any kind. This lack was abetted by the total lack of formal theological training on the part of many early Keswick leaders. Keswick’s neglect of carefully prepared theology is a definite weakness, although natural for those who accepted Robert P. Smith’s view that for “souls i[n] vital conscious union with Christ . . . the effects of any errors of judgment are neutralized.”
What was important at Keswick, as in the teaching and ministry of Hannah and Robert P. Smith, and at the Broadlands Conferences, was not the careful study of what Scripture said, but feeling happy—the secret of a happy life. While Keswick’s neglect of the careful study of Scripture suited the Quaker exaltation of immediate extra-canonical revelation, for those who wanted to know what God’s Word said about sanctification, it was a great hindrance that at “the early Conventions . . . [a]ll the addresses were extemporaneous,” so that none of the spiritual guides who were to lead others into the way of holiness could preach carefully exposited Scripture. All speakers had to teach unprepared:
Canon Harford-Battersby . . . . assigned . . . speaking roles each evening for the following day, after a time of prayer with the chairman [Robert Wilson] in his vicarage drawing room . . . informal planning of the speakers for each day, undertaken only during the week itself, characterized the Convention for more than fifty years. . . . Some may see in that a more noble leading of the Spirit, whilst others may call it flying by the seat of your pants[.]
Keswick maintained “a remarkable absence of planning and organizing of speakers.” It is not surprising that a later Keswick president thought that “the reason that Convention blessings were short-lived” was the “lack of solid exposition” at the Conference. Keswick’s oft recognized lack of carefully prepared and theologically precise views of sin and the solution for it is evident in its inaccurate presentations and bungling refutations by Keswick advocates of alternative positions on sanctification, its failure to deal comprehensively and carefully with the scriptural data related to the believer’s growth in holiness, its invalid arguments, its allegorical interpretation of Scripture, and its faulty exegesis of key texts on sanctification. In all these ways, while unfaithful to the Bible, Keswick continued faithful to its roots at Broadlands, where the misinterpretation of Scripture was tightly connected to the Quaker Divine Seed heresy. From the Divine Seed doctrine many an allegorization of Scripture came forth—what need was there of careful exegesis of the Bible for one who has the Divine Seed within, and from his allegedly sinless spirit receives new revelations? Keswick does not do well to set against each other “exegetical skill” and “present illumination and anointing of the Holy Spirit,” claiming to value the latter despite downplaying the former. In fact, Keswick’s theological sickness is evident in the affirmation that the “distinctive vitality” of “Keswick meetings” is “lost” if “exegetical skill instead of . . . present illumination” is employed in preaching. Indeed, Keswick authors have testified that the generality of those that accede to their theology do so not as a result of their having exegeted and searched the Scriptures (Acts 17:11), but because of their pleasant feelings and experiences at Keswick conferences. It is consequently not surprising that the key requirement for ascending the Keswick platform during its founding decades was not doctrinal orthodoxy, but, as at Broadlands, the experience of entering into the carefree happiness of the Higher Life. Keswick’s inability to support itself exegetically, and its reliance upon testimonies and pleasant words and deeds to lead people into its system, is explained by Robert P. Smith:
Do not press this fulness of the Gospel [the Higher Life], in its doctrinal, dogmatic side. It is not so much a doctrine to be argued as a life to be lived. Confess Christ—do not profess to be anything. . . . Your life must be your argument to those who see you constantly. Do not worry them by doctrinal statements, but love them into the fulness of salvation. It is usual to hear persons say, “I was wrong. I could meet the arguments, but the life of my friend has convinced me that she was right.”
Thus, careful statements of Biblical teaching only “worry” the generality of those who accede to the Higher Life. Although arguments for Keswick doctrine from the text of Scripture can be easily met, as the Bible does not teach the theology of the Pearsall Smiths, the appearance of a carefree and happy life full of rest and quiet leads many to adopt the Higher Life. The theological imprecision that results by setting the Holy Ghost against painstaking exegesis of the Word He dictated is also a major explanatory factor for the other Biblical errors in the Keswick theology. Keswick statements on theological issues are often better when they are not taken seriously, but only their general intention is considered; taking Keswick too seriously leads to serious error.
See here for this entire study.
 Compare Jessie Penn-Lewis’s “deep conviction” that “many who have been reckoned ‘Modernists,’ even in the Mission field, are not really so in heart,” but are really “servants of Christ” that Keswick partisans should “labour to help . . . all that is in our power” (pg. 280, Mrs. Penn-Lewis: A Memoir, Mary N. Garrard). Many theological modernists are not, Penn-Lewis affirms, unregenerate false teachers who should be marked, avoided, and rejected. Rather, they are servants of Christ who should be assisted as much as possible; they are simply in need of some Higher Life teaching so that all will be well. If even modernists should be accepted, it is no surprise that Penn-Lewis preached that “divergent views on prophecy, on sanctification, on healing, and other matters . . . should be put aside” to assist in bringing about “the UNITY of the Body of Christ in view of His soon Return” (pg. 283, Ibid.). Since the Keswick co-founder, Canon Harford-Battersby, was himself High Church, then Broad Church, and only then an evangelical Anglican, and all without a conversion experience, Jessie Penn-Lewis’s statements are not surprising.
 The following statement illustrates the less-than-proper view of truth advocated by many Keswick proponents: “Keswick itself has been and is still criticized; but that is of no serious consequence. The truth of God is bigger than any one view or school of thought” (pg. 10, So Great Salvation, Barabas). Contrary to Barabas, true theology has the objective propositional content that was given by the Father to His Son as Mediator to reveal to the church by the Spirit through the Scriptures. Rather than lightly treating criticism of Keswick because the truth of God is allegedly bigger than any one view, such criticism should be evaluated Biblically and acted upon if it is accurate, or rejected if it is unscriptural.
Of course, the statement that the truth of God is bigger than any one view is itself incoherent. If the truth of God is bigger than any one view, it is bigger than the view that it is bigger than any one view, in which case the truth of God is not bigger than any one view.
 Pg. 35, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
 Pg. 149, So Great Salvation, Barabas; cf. pg. 98, Transforming Keswick: The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall. The open communion service would take place in the meeting place of T. D. Harford Battersby’s Anglican congregation, where the severe errors of the Anglican communion liturgy were recited week by week (pgs. xiv-xv, Memoir of T. D. Harford-Battersby, Harford).
 E. g., at the 1874 Broadlands Conference Robert P. Smith taught that the “purpose of this gathering together . . . was different from that of other religious gatherings. It was not for the teaching of religious truths,” but for the inculcation of the Higher Life in which the “teaching of the Spirit should be heard” (pg. 120, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890), in accordance with the Quaker doctrines of the Inner Light and the Divine Seed. The “aim [was] less to enforce a creed than to inspire a life” for Broadlands preachers such as the universalist George MacDonald (pg. 59, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910). “The Conferences were, as Lord Mount-Temple said at the opening of the first one, ‘not for the promulgation of any new system, nor for the combined execution of any organized plan, but a meeting of grateful, loving hearts, united . . . to lead a higher and deeper Christian life’” (pgs. 119-120, Ibid.).
 Thus, in the words of very sympathetic Methodist writers, whose purpose in writing was generally to defend the Keswick theology and perfectionism (as taught, in their view, most perfectly by Wesley) against Higher Life critics:
The [Keswick] theology . . . does very seriously expose itself to misconception through its lack of systematic coherence and completeness. A certain consciousness of this seems sometimes to disturb the equanimity of the teachers, and tempts them to speak disparagingly of dogmatic theology[.] . . . It is not to be expected, of course, that the leaders of the movement . . . should publish to the world their precise creed . . . [since they] have generally been careful to disavow any connection with denominations and communions . . . on the principle of keeping out of view everything that might raise the question of sectarian differences . . . ignor[ing] . . . the formalities of worship, and ritual, and sacraments . . . effac[ing] . . . the distinction of pastorship and laity . . . [and] not always tak[ing] . . . sufficient care . . . to preclude . . . the imputation of Pelagianism . . . brought by almost all the censors against the movement. (pgs. 100-101, “The Brighton Convention and Its Opponents.” London Quarterly Review, October 1875)
 Pg. 42, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
 Pg. 42, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
 Pg. 9, So Great Salvation, Barabas.
 Pg. 51, So Great Salvation, Barabas. This fact mentioned by Barabas does not mean that nobody associated with the Keswick theology has ever produced anything with at least a certain amount of scholarly value; it does mean that no Keswick advocate has ever composed a careful and scholarly presentation or theological defense of the distinctives of the Keswick doctrine. Rather, Keswick writings are “a mass of unsystematic literature, not always absolutely consistent with itself” (pg. 259, “Means and Measure of Holiness,” Thomas Smith. The British and Foreign Evangelical Review [April 1876] 251-280). Barabas is by no means the only Keswick advocate to recognize that no carefully prepared and theologically precise presentation of its position has even been written—this absence has been continually recognized from the very origin of the Keswick movement. R. W. Dale noted:
I said to Dr. Boardman only a few months ago that it seemed to me that this [Higher Life] movement had prophets, but had not teachers; and he acknowledged that there was a great deal of truth in that. I asked where he could show me a theological book in which this doctrine was so stated as really to satisfy any theological mind, and he was obliged to acknowledge that it was very difficult indeed to name any such book. . . . I have been called upon as one not hostile to this movement, [but] as favorable to it. (pg. 450, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875)
 E. g., Evan Hopkins & Webb-Peploe “had no formal theological training” (pg. 68, The Keswick Story: The Authorized History of the Keswick Convention, Polluck); neither did Hannah or Robert Pearsall Smith, Robert Wilson, or many other Higher Life leaders.
 Pg. 186, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874. Smith’s doctrine that errors of judgment have no negative consequences for people who experience the Higher Life as he had done helps explain both his adoption and continued propagation of the erotic Bridal Baptism doctrine. His judgment might indicate that he was propagating the vilest of perversions, but such judgment was to be set aside for the thrills of a “conscious union” where the rational could be set aside.
 The wonder of the Higher Life resulted in “[t]he intense happiness experienced at Broadlands,” which was “as the dawn of a fresh springtime in th[e] lives” of many (pg. 267, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910). Although the vast body at the Broadlands Conferences had never been born again but were wretched and unconverted sinners, they were not led to feel their awful misery, but were confirmed in carefree happiness and self-delusion. “[A]t Broadlands . . . changed lives and characters . . . could not be gainsaid . . . one noted a great and marked increase in gladness and cheerfulness” (pgs. 246-247, Ibid). Indeed, Broadlands leaders testified that the spiritualism and the presence of demons impersonating the spirits of dead people contributed to the great happiness of those present. As the Mount-Temples believed, “the presence of unseen heavenly ones added to the deep gladness that was felt” (pg. 262, Ibid.).
 Thus, at the Oxford Convention, people learned: “If our preaching does not make people glad, we have not got the right message” (pg. 263, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874). For the Oxford Convention, then, it would seem that the Lord Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, did not have the right message when He proclaimed: “Blessed are they that mourn” (Matthew 5:4; cf. Luke 6:25; 7:32; 1 Corinthians 5:2; 2 Corinthians 7:7; James 4:9; Daniel 10:2; Joel 2:12, etc.). Rather than the message of Christ and the Apostles, Hannah Smith taught at Brighton that the Holy Spirit is not “one to make us unhappy”—thoughts that make one unhappy “always come from Satan” (pg. 376, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875). The Christian is to enter into the Higher stage where “he abides in utter unconcern and perfect rest . . . perfect abandonment of ease and comfort . . . the Higher Christian Life” (Chapter 3, The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, Hannah W. Smith).
 Pg. 16, Keswick’s Authentic Voice, ed. Stevenson. It is admitted that Keswick addresses were often “rather disjointed” because of this lack of study (pg. 17), even as at the Brighton Convention Robert P. Smith noted: “I do not think that there has been a single address arranged; I know there have been no formal preparations made in any respect,” as not until late in the evening were speakers for the next day selected (pgs. 12, 437-438, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875). Likewise at the Oxford Convention it “was not so much what was said, in the purely extempore remarks or addresses,” for all that the people heard were “unpremeditated extempore addressess,” concerning which what mattered was “the preparedness of the heart to listen” (pgs. 180, 200, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874). People were profoundly prepared to accept in their hearts whatever the speakers said or taught in their unprepared and unpremeditated addresses; this was possible because, as Robert P. Smith explained, for those in the Higher Life “the effects of any errors of judgment are neutralized” (pg. 186) so no negative effects would result from the many misinterpretations and misapplications of the Bible.
 Pg. 205, Transforming Keswick: The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall; pg. 44, The Keswick Story: The Authorized History of the Keswick Convention, Polluck.
 Pg. 49, The Keswick Story: The Authorized History of the Keswick Convention, Polluck. Quotation marks within the reference above have been removed.
 Graham Scroggie; see pg. 71, Transforming Keswick: The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall.
 For example, Hannah W. Smith stated:
As to the matter of theology in this [doctrine of the Higher Life], I beg, as I always do, that nobody will listen to me with theological ears. It is very likely that I make plenty of mistakes in that direction, but if you get hold of the experience, then you can put the matter straight . . . [I may not give] a very clear or exact statement of Christian truth; but I am sure . . . that [I present] an exact statement of Christian experience. (pg. 54, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875)
Of course, it is impossible to have an exact view of Christian experience without an exact statement of Christian truth, and believers are always to evaluate what they hear with “theological ears” that are carefully sifting with Scripture what others affirm (Isaiah 8:20; John 5:39; Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1-3). If Mrs. Smith admits that she makes many mistakes with Christian truth, she ought not to be preaching at all—a certainty in any case (1 Timothy 2:11-15).
 The phenomena mentioned in this sentence are examined in more detail below.
 For example, teachers at the Broadlands Conference proclaimed: “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” (pgs. 178-179, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910). The Divine Seed led to many allegorical misinterpretations of Scripture at Broadlands. For example, in Revelation 22:2, “The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations” is not about the leaves of the tree of life in the New Jerusalem, but really means: “We cannot live in this world without longing to be healers” (pg. 179, Ibid). After all, the New Jerusalem only “signif[ies] glorified humanity” (pg. 132). With similar allegory, “The birds of the air came and lodged in the branches” (Matthew 13:32) means, to the amazement of the student of Scripture: “We are to be the support and sustainers of those who are seeking rest” (pg. 179, Ibid. Italics reproduced from the original.). Indeed, Broadlands even made the astonishing discovery that in Luke 16 Lazarus was worse off than the rich man: “Lazarus was the most wanting in brotherly kindness, for Dives [the rich man] got no help from Lazarus . . . They were both in Hades. Better to be a sufferer than a helpless witness of suffering. . . . The only true heaven is a character like God’s” (pg. 208, Ibid. Italics in original.). Perhaps such an exaltation of the rich man in hell above Lazarus in paradise was assisted by the Broadlands confusion of the Antichrist with Christ in texts such as Revelation 6:2 (pg. 207, Ibid), but such is uncertain.
Keswick allegorization and Scripture-twisting thus followed the pattern set at the Broadlands Conference and its successors. At Broadlands in 1874 a “very distinct feature of this Conference, [which] must not be omitted in any attempt to delineate it . . . [was] the conversations over passages in Scripture [where people] had not tarried in the letter of the Word, but had discerned everywhere beneath it the living Word . . . unveiling . . . the inward and spiritual meaning in the Jewish history and ceremonial” (pgs. 122-123, Memorials [of William Francis Cowper-Temple, Baron Mount-Temple], Georgina Cowper-Temple. London: Printed for private circulation, 1890). Consequently, for example, the Oxford Convention took the fact that “[a]ll priests are Levites, but all Levites are not priests” and allegorized it to support the division of Christians into those living the Higher Life and those not. Furthermore, the number of days it took to cleanse the temple in 2 Chronicles 29:17 was allegorized into Higher Life truth, and an address was given on “Joseph a type of the risen life.” Another allegorization included Samuel’s predictions about the conclusion of Saul’s search for his father’s donkeys, receipt of bread from people, and encounter with a company of prophets in 1 Samuel 10 as “a picture of the Christian life” where people are “first chosen, then consecrated.” Likewise, the water coming from Ezekiel’s Millennial temple (Ezekiel 47) teaches the Higher Life; the Valley of Achor (Joshua 7, 15; Isaiah 65; Hosea 2) is “the place of entire absolute renunciation of all discovered evil for a door of heavenly blessing”; “Kadesh Barnea” is allegorized into a font of Higher Life truth; the fact that Solomon wrote the Song of Songs teaches that the Higher Life is a “reign of peace,” and so on (pgs. 58, 60, 124, 128-130, 148, 268-269, 306-7, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874). It is difficult to know whether it is better to laugh at such ridiculous allegorizations or cry because of their dishonor to God’s holy Word.
Similarly, Keswick convention founder T. D. Harford-Battersby adopted the Higher Life theology after hearing an allegorical misinterpretation of John 4:46-53 by Evan Hopkins (cf. pgs. 157-158, Memoir of T. D. Harford-Battersby; pg. 52, The Keswick Convention: Its Message, its Method, and its Men, Harford; pgs. 113ff., 174, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874). Compare also the numerous examples of severe eisegesis in the elenctic examination of controverted passages on sanctification and the several vignettes of central Keswick leaders in the various chapters of this book. The Higher Life was found in countless texts when allegorized, although it was not in any when principles of grammatical-historical hermeneutics were applied.
 Pg. 214, The Keswick Convention: Its Message, its Method, and its Men, ed. Harford.
 For instance, A. E. Barnes-Lawrence, in The Keswick Convention: Its Message, its Method, and its Men, ed. Harford, on pgs. 188-191 describes how a typical “cleric of devout mind who for the first time has come to Keswick, prepared to find fault, but for the moment is withholding his judgment” is brought to adopt the Higher Life doctrine. He goes to a prayer meeting, sees a lot of people who are fervent (pgs. 188-189), hears “the flood of melody as the hymn is taken up by the great assembly,” is impressed by the “sudden hush and expectant quietness that falls” in the “Bible Readings,” concludes that his own “best sermons” arouse “languid” interest in comparison with those at the Convention, and that people at the Convention are more “keen” than those in his congregation, and he therefore adopts the Keswick theology, even while averring: “It was not the address, certainly not . . . and I should have treated that last point quite differently myself” (pg. 190). By such impressions and feelings, rather than by careful study of the Bible, hundreds of ministers receive the Keswick message (pg. 191). “Such a testimony is not unfrequent, and it carries its own imprimatur” (pg. 190).
For further examples, note Griffith-Thomas’s attempt to respond to Warfield’s crushing critique of the Keswick theology by testimonial, rather than exegesis, in this work’s chapter on whether Keswick critics misrepresent Keswick; cf. also pgs. 66, 85-86, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875.
 “The only qualification required from the speakers [at Broadlands] was that they should have personal experience of the truths they uttered” (pg. 120, cf. pg. 265, The Life that is Life Indeed: Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson. London: James Nisbet & Co, 1910). Of course, Christian preachers should know experientially the truths that they proclaim, but testimony to having received a certain experience is by no means a sufficient standard for allowing a person behind a pulpit (cf. 1 Timothy 1:3, 13; 2 John 7-11).
 Pg. 291, Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness, Held at Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874. Chicago: Revell, 1874. Italics in original. Cf. pg. 263. Note that the generic “friend” who leads another to adopt the Higher Life is a “she.”