Friday, May 10, 2019

Jessie Penn-Lewis: Keswick & Welsh Revivalist, Quaker and Freemason (part 1 of 22)

Jessie Penn-Lewis was, in her day, “Keswick’s leading female speaker . . . the woman destined to make the most impression at Keswick.”[1]  “Only those who . . . kn[ew] her longest and most closely can fully appreciate how strongly [she] influenced . . . Evangelical life and thought of her time.”[2]  A summary of her book The Warfare with Satan and the Way of Victory was even found in the series The Fundamentals.[3]  She came from a Quaker family, had significant “Quaker linkages,”[4] and, among other events in her limited education, went, as she affirmed, to “a school . . . opened by a Quaker lady,” along with receiving training from a “Quaker gentleman.”[5]  Her husband William Penn-Lewis had a strong Quaker background as “a follower of George Fox,[6] a professed Quaker and descendent of . . . William Penn,”[7] so that Jessie’s married name of Penn-Lewis[8] pointed back to that extremely influential early anti-Trinitarian Quaker who founded the state of Pennsylvania.  Through their  married life, “every Sunday, [Mr. Penn-Lewis] and his wife went to . . . a Society of Friends Meeting,” except on certain occasions when they attended “an Anglican service” or, “sometimes, a lively evangelical meeting.”[9]  Mrs. Penn-Lewis could justify the disorder and confusion of the revivalism led by Evan Roberts through an appeal to  Quaker worship:  “By the immediate operations of the Holy spirit, [Christ] as the Head of the church, alone selects and qualifies those who are to present His messages or engage in other service for Him; and, hence, we cannot commit any formal arrangement to any one in our regular meetings for worship.”[10]  Mrs. Penn-Lewis would, on various occasions, give the “message” at “the Friends’ Meeting House” up to the very end of her life.[11]   Both Mr. and Mrs. Penn-Lewis were buried in a Quaker graveyard, “the Friends Burial Field at Reigate,”[12] their funerals being held in Quaker meeting houses, thus identifying with the Quaker movement and its heresies in the choice of their final resting place.[13]  Furthermore, Mrs. Penn-Lewis’ “mother was one of the first to join . . . the Good Templar Movement” in her town, and Jessie “was keenly eager to be a Templar too,” so she followed her mother as a “Templar” in the demonic cult of Freemasonry.[14]  The “very first Lodge night after [her] twelfth birthday . . . [she was] initiated into the coveted circle.”  She soon became “Chief Presiding Officer of the juveniles . . . [in the Minor] Lodge,” while her husband-to-be was “Treasurer of [that same] Lodge at th[at] time.”[15]  She “continued as secretary of the Lodge by re-election quarter after quarter until . . . compelled to give it up”[16] because of her father’s death.  Her Quaker and Masonic influences were connected, as a “Quaker . . . undertook to teach [her] the secretarial work [of the Lodge].”[17]  However, Mrs. Penn-Lewis’ parents and she did not stick exclusively to Quaker and Freemason meetings;  she had Calvinistic Methodism in her background also, since, for example, her grandfather was a minister in the “C. M. Connection,” and, what is more, was “said to be the most metaphysical preacher of his day” in that movement.[18]  Jessie’s devout mother consequently “had ideas that children could be brought up without the knowledge of sin.”[19]  

-TDR


The following are the parts of this series:

Jessie Penn-Lewis: Keswick and Welsh Revivalist, Quaker and Freemason (part 1 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Conversion (?) and Higher Life (part 2 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Spirit-Baptized Woman Preacher (part 3 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Keswick Faith Healer (part 4 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: the Christ-Life and Quietism (part 5 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Her Inspired Writings (part 6 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Inspired Woman Preacher (part 7 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: her mystical false god (part 8 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Worldwide Keswick Impact  (part 9 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Welsh Revival and Pentecostal Preparation (part 10 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: War on the Saints (part 11 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Christians Demon Possessed (part 12 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Warfare Prayer and the 1914 partial Rapture (part 13 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Binding Satan (part 14 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Binding and Loosing (part 15 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: “My Demon Possession Key to My Keswick Teaching” (part 16 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Inspired “Truth” on Demon Possession (part 17 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Throne Life / Power and the Higher Life (part 18 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis: Soul Force, Only the Human Spirit Regenerated, And Other Bizarre Foolishness (part 19)
Jessie Penn-Lewis and Evan Roberts: Applications From Their Lives and Doctrines, I (part 20 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis and Evan Roberts: Applications From Their Lives and Doctrines, II (part 21 of 22)
Jessie Penn-Lewis and Evan Roberts: Applications From Their Lives and Doctrines, III (part 22 of 22)


 

[1]           Pgs. 120, 155, Transforming Keswick:  The Keswick Convention, Past, Present, and Future, Price & Randall.
[2]           Pg. iii, Jessie Penn-Lewis:  A Memoir, Mary N. Garrard, 2nd ed. preface by Bernard W. Matthews, 1930.
[3]           “Thankfully, too, may be placed on record the fact that a concise summary of ‘The Warfare with Satan and the Way of Victory’ was selected as one of the papers for insertion in Vol. X of ‘The Fundamentals,’ a series of volumes re-stating the Fundamental Truths of the Christian Faith, issued free by the generosity of ‘Two Christian Laymen’ to workers throughout the world” (“The Overcomer Literature Trust Fund,” pg. 203, The Overcomer, December 1914; cf. Chapter 13, “Satan and His Kingdom,” Jessie Penn-Lewis, pgs. 183-199, The Fundamentals, Vol. 4, ed. Torrey).
[4]           Pg. 274, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[5]           Pg. 5, Jessie Penn-Lewis:  A Memoir, Mary N. Garrard; cf. pg. 6, The Trials and Triumphs of Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, Brynmor Pierce Jones.
[6]           George Fox (1624-1691) was the “Founder of the Society of Friends, otherwise known as Quakers. . . . In 1646 he announced his reliance on the ‘Inner Light of the Living Christ.’ . . . [H]e taught that truth is to be found primarily not in Scripture or in creed but in God’s voice speaking to the soul. . . . his colleagues . . . included William Penn” (pg. 425, “Fox, George,” Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. Walter A. Elwell).
[7]           Pg. 139, I Saw The Welsh Revival, David Matthews.  Chicago, IL:  Moody, 1951.  After his marriage to Jessie, Mr. Penn-Lewis’ Quaker background still showed itself (pg. 11, The Trials and Triumphs of Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, Jones).  At Mr. Penn-Lewis’ funeral, preached by F. B. Meyer, “Dr. Meyer remarked that [the] quiet garden attached to the Friends [Quaker] Meeting House was peculiarly appropriate as the last resting place of William Penn-Lewis, as he was a descendant of William Penn, one of the Pilgrim Fathers, the founder of Pennsylvania” (pg. 290, Mrs. Penn-Lewis:  A Memoir, Mary Garrard).  Mrs. Penn-Lewis, buried by her husband in this Quaker graveyard, would also refer to what one or another “old Quaker” or “old Quakers” had said in her writings (cf. her letter from Coonoor, S. India, March 3, 1903, reprinted in “The Life of Faith” of March 25th 1903; Chapter 3, Soul and Spirit, by Jessie Penn-Lewis, etc.).
[8]           Before her marriage she was “Jessie Jones” (pg. 7, The Trials and Triumphs of Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, Jones).  More details about her early life and marriage are contained in her diaries and her booklet The Leading of the Lord.
[9]           Pg. 155, The Trials and Triumphs of Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, Jones.
[10]         “Public Worship” in the Orthodox Quaker Declaration of Faith Issued by the Richmond Conference in 1887 (http://www.quakerinfo.com/rdf.shtml).
[11]         Pgs. 300-301, The Trials and Triumphs of Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, Jones.
[12]         Pg. 295, The Trials and Triumphs of Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, Jones.
[13]         Pgs. 290, 306, Mrs. Penn-Lewis:  A Memoir, Mary N. Garrard.
[14]         Compare “Freemasonry and the Christian,” Eddy D. Field II & Eddy D. Field III. Master’s Seminary Journal, 5:2 (Fall 94) 141-158; also The Secret Teachings of the Masonic Lodge, John Ankerberg & John Weldon (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1990).
[15]         Pg. 4, Jessie Penn-Lewis:  A Memoir, Mary N. Garrard.  Garrard was Mrs. Penn-Lewis’ secretary and confidant for decades, and after Penn-Lewis’ death Garrard “serve[d] as general secretary and magazine editor” of The Overcomer “for sixteen years” (pgs. 305ff. The Trials and Triumphs of Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, Jones; cf. pgs. 10, 86, 156, 250, 297).
[16]         Pg. 6, The Trials and Triumphs of Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, Jones.
[17]         Pg. 6, The Trials and Triumphs of Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, Jones.
[18]         Pg. 1, Jessie Penn-Lewis:  A Memoir, Mary N. Garrard.
[19]         Pg. 2, Jessie Penn-Lewis:  A Memoir, Mary N. Garrard; cf. pg. 4, The Trials and Triumphs of Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, Brynmor Pierce Jones.

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