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The Grace Project

Cain & Babel - Voices from the Past

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Jessie_penn_Lewis.gifCain & Babel -Voices from the past is a reflection on the interaction that took place in Victorian England between Jessie Penn-Lewis and the founding father s of Pentecostalism. After a century of "Pentecost" the concerns that Jessie Penn--Lewis raised remain [Identification with Christ and spiritual warfare against Satan] highly contemporary. Penn-Lewis remains one of the most misunderstood and maligned characters in the history of Pentecostalism. However, her contribution was invaluable and the author hopes that readers of this article will be encouraged to review her teachings, which are a source of great wisdom.

The Interaction Between Jessie Penn-Lewis and Pentecostalism

Paul Anderson-Walsh for the Grace Project


Table of Contents
1. Introduction "There was a famine in the land" [2 Kings 4:38].
2. Wild Gourds [2 Kings 4:39]
"One of them went out into the field .."
(a) Thomas Ball Barratt [1862 - 1940] - The Apostle of Pentecost..
(b) Alexander Boddy [1854 - 1930] - The Father of British Pentecostalism
3. "Man of God, there's Death in the Pot " [2 Kings 4:40]
(a)Jessie Penn-Lewis [1861- 1927]
(b)The Talented Mister Roberts - Re-commissioned or Decommissioned
(c)The Nature of Jessie Penn-Lewis' Spirituality - A Spirit in the World of Men
(d) Hands that Rocked the Keswick Cradle
4. War A mong The Saints
"These Men Are Not Drunk As You Suppose"
(a) Cross Correspondence Between Mr. & Mrs. Boddy and Jessie Penn-Lewis
(b) Barratt's "Confidence"
(c) Boddy's Repudiation of War On The Saints
5. Conclusion
(a) Adding the Flour
(b) The Tongues Issue
(c) More Than A Book About Demons
(d)Cain And Babel, Discovering our Roots
6. Selected Bibliography

1. Introduction

"There was a famine in the land" [2 Kings 4:38]
Elijah's Gilgal well describes the spiritual condition in Victorian England toward the end of the nineteenth century as believers began to demand something more satisfying than the "slowly suffocating" brand of Christianity that left them afraid to be "happy" and also overwhelmed them with a "lurking sense of guilt." However, in 1872, when the Higher Life Movement's revolutionary message of "victory over daily sin, found it in the indwelling Victor" arrived in England, the message received a mixed reception. To some, it was refulgent; to others, repugnant. Whilst many, like Evan Hopkins (the father of the Keswick Convention), feasted, others, like JC Ryle, festered, denouncing the Higher Life Movement as "a new peril from imported from America."
One of the features of history is that it is "cyclical" in nature. Consequently, it may be possible by observing history (and in this case, Pentecostal history) to anticipate certain trends and take remedial action. New movements seldom occur in vacuums, they are birthed from the womb of existing movements. One such disturbing trend is infanticide. As with his primate counterparts, a lion sometimes kills his cubs to eliminate the chance of any rivalry against the offspring he later fathers to preserve his kingdom. As yesterday's revolutionaries become today's reductionists, they often try to kill their young for similar reasons. The author of this Research Paper is concerned with observing the furore that attended the birth of the Pentecostal movement in Britain so as to see if there are any observable contemporary lessons.
In 1907, The Higher Life Movement (having been lambasted by its progenitor, The Holiness Movement) had, in turn, issued forth a "storm of abuse" on its offspring, Pentecostalism whose birth was described in Ryle-like terms as The Hour of Peril . Barabas described Keswick as a "sort of modern Pentecost." Whilst it became " Britain's leading convention" , the first Keswick was nearly the last because "the whole movement was subjected to violent criticism and opposition." Accusations that Keswick propagated "the entire eradication of sin" meant that identification with Keswick is "to be willing to be separated from the leaders of the Evangelical Church." Thus, when "the Keswick platform was barred against 'the Pentecostalists'" , a cycle was completed.

2. Wild Gourds [2 Kings 4:39]

". and found a wild vine and gathered from it his lap full of wild gourds, and came and cut them up and put them into the pot of stew, not knowing what they were."

(a) Thomas Ball Barratt [1862 - 1940] - The Apostle of Pentecost

Among those who went in search of "herbs" was Thomas Ball Barratt [1862 - 1940]. Yet, what he gathered and circuitously brought to England was deemed by some, including Mrs Jessie Penn-Lewis , as "a wild vine." Her exclamation that "there is death in the pot" and the ensuing interaction form the basis of this Research Paper.

News of the events that occurred in Wales during 1904 - 1905 "were flashed around the world." It was in 1906, "at Azusa Street that things really began to happen" and also, the "Pentecostal flame" set fire to William Seymour's "humble stable." At Azusa, "the distinctive feature of the revival that drew most attention was the baptismal experience of the Holy Spirit accompanied by glossolalia." Although Harper claimed that tongues were a prominent feature in Wales and credited Penn-Lewis with authoring "the principal book written about the Welsh Revival" , he also accused her of deliberately omitting any reference to "tongues." Nonetheless, "what marked [Azusa] out as unusual was that people were speaking in tongues."
In the summer of 1906, Barratt was in New York for what turned out to be an "abortive fund-raising tour of America." Harper's imagery of "the beggar at gate beautiful" is excellent. Whilst Barratt received neither "silver nor gold", he left "leaping with joy." After reading The Apostolic Faith "convinced by the revival's viability, Barratt sought the 'full Bible evidence' up to twelve hours a day, day after day." Barratt began to correspond with the leaders of the revival. On 16 November, he finally received the coveted "evidence" whereupon he hurried home to Oslo "to spread the Pentecostal outpouring."
Whilst Penn-Lewis considered the Welsh Revival to be "a true work of God" , claiming it as "the exact fulfilment of the latter rain promised by Joel" , she nursed a different view of Azusa. Editorials, like those that appeared in the Los Angeles Times, "Weird Babel of Tongues" , fuelled both fascination and anxiety. It was in Europe that Pentecostalism had the greatest chance of becoming a "trans-church revival rather than an instrument of secession into new denominations." Hocken attributed its failure to cross over to its rejection among Holiness circles, particularly Britain's Keswick and Gemeinschaftsbewegung in Germany. Lewis Pethrus domesticated what he learnt from Barratt, considering it his mandate "to subdue its often fierce manifestations." In Germany, Jonathan Paul, described by Donald Gee as "the unsurpassed exponent of perfect love" , carried the torch. In March 1907, a Mr Alexander Boddy hastened to Norway and thus, "the Pentecostal Movement in Britain began as a result of the interest of an English Minister from Sunderland."

(b) Alexander Boddy [1854 - 1930] - The Father of British Pentecostalism

When Alexander Boddy returned to Sunderland, he wasted no time in propagating his "Pentecost" by, inter alia , returning to Keswick (a place he assumed was a confirmative "short step" ) and distributing "thousands of copies of a leaflet [entitled] Pentecost for England ." However, Keswick was not receptive and "closed ranks in opposition." Azusa was a bridge too far for a reflective Keswick which had concluded that much of what happened in Wales "should correctly be attributed to demonic activity." One "short step" became "a giant leap" which, to Penn-Lewis, straddled a chasm of deception.
Whilst Boddy sought to catch the fire, Penn-Lewis was trying to put it out. Reports reached her of the activities of one Mr Alfred Garr possessed of Parham's tongues teaching who, having arrived in India, "hotfooted from the Azusa Street Mission" and "began preaching to the natives in what he believed to be their own languages." Garr told them that "if they tarried, they would sooner or later be receiving new gifts that would equip them to prophesy and speak in tongues."
Penn-Lewis viewed Garr's presence as divisive. As the new sect opened fellowships in and around Calcutta, Penn-Lewis wrote "the most helpful letter one could ever imagine" in which she counselled them "to ensure that the natural mind was kept by faith continually crucified with Christ on the Cross to protect them from deception." In addition, she challenged Garr's assertion that the gift of tongues was "the invariable evidence of being baptised, [warning that] 'emphasis' or 'fuss' about gifts would only serve to 'excite the flesh' and lead to pride." Her efficacious letter prompted one renegade, Mr Ward, to thank her for "the shaft of light into the soul." Pentecostals denounced Penn-Lewis' letter which was published as a pamphlet.

Barratt joined Boddy in Sunderland in the autumn of 1907 where he conducted a series of after meetings. Several people received the baptism, including Mary Boddy, but, interestingly, not Boddy himself which became a source of "disappointment" to him. However, the declining Parish that Boddy had taken over (which had previously been saddled with a drunken incumbent and besieged by "repeated lawsuits" ) would soon have a Vicar "drunk" on a different sort of wine and be besieged by "holy litigation."

The Sunderland meetings issued forth fascination and indignation. Scroggie and Reader Harris, who were conducting meetings in Sunderland, were horrified by the "confusion" and "errors of conduct." Such was Harris' disapprobation that he condemned the "Gift of Tongues Movement" as "satanic" , causing Boddy's son-in-law to renounce his baptism. The pugnacious Barratt retaliated by calling Harris "deluded." However, when the London Daily Chronicle began reporting events, Monkwearmouth became a matter of national interest. Although Harper felt that British Pentecostalism "suffered early on from uncertain leadership" , he questioned the wisdom of Boddy and the determination of the "socially prominent" Cecil Polhill to "keep the Movement in the churches - while the churches were trying to keep them out." Boddy, "The First Pentecostal Anglican" , resisted pressure "to start a Pentecostal Movement." His vision was for a trans-church Pentecost and accordingly, he "encouraged seekers to remain in their churches" whilst he remained "firm in his allegiance of the Church of England." Boddy's midwifery prevented the "pregnancy" from being eptopic. He recognised the justice of Harris' criticism of the "disorderliness of the innovative meetings at which Barratt spoke" and disliked "subjectivism and fanaticism."
After Barratt returned home, Boddy applied the brakes, preventing the movement from "careering out of control" , ameliorating the paroxysms of emotionalism that were such a feature of the Welsh Revival. Boddy decanted the excesses, making Sunderland a sober portal for those interested in the baptism. Entrance to Boddy's "Pentecostal Convention" required delegates to sign a consent form confirming both their "full sympathy with those who are seeking 'Pentecost' with the Sign of Tongues" and compliance to "accept the ruling of the Chairman." Blumhofer believes that "the limited control Boddy exercised served initially to exclude certain divisive teachings and practices that were freer to flourish in America."

3. "Man of God, there's Death in the Pot"

(a) Jessie Penn-Lewis [1861 - 1927]
When Jessie Penn-Lewis claimed that "The Pentecostal phenomena were caused by evil spirits and not by the Holy Spirit" , " repulsion and involuntary resentment" were the unsurprising responses from The Pentecostal Movement's advocates who cast he r as a dark virago. Penn-Lewis remains an anomaly. Although few Pentecostals know anything of substance about her, most vaguely recognizes her name - a situation which, perhaps, emphasizes the ability of Pentecostalism to airbrush its history and, in so doing, frustrate heuristic criticism which the author has attempted with the variegated accounts and her polemic, War On The Saints , and their counterpoise.
Penn-Lewis was a "formidable" woman, more a thermostat than a thermometer. Her "message of personal crucifixion with Christ and of spiritual warfare against Satan" has endured. Though not a "literary woman" , she became a prolific writer, "greatly used as a journalist" and a confidant and spiritual guide to several men deeply involved in Revival. Despite living in an era which precluded women from full participation , the repercussions caused by Penn-Lewis' objections threatened to destroy the fledgling Pentecostal Movement.
The Penn-Lewises lived comfortably. Jessie Penn-Lewis went to become the spokeswoman of the British YWCA and as such, it afforded her a socially elevating trajectory. Penn-Lewis was a frequent contributor to The Life of Faith of which circulation reached a staggering 75,000 in 1898. In addition, she was "Keswick's most formidable female speaker in the 1890's." Having "engineered" Keswick in Wales , Penn-Lewis became the special correspondent to the Welsh Revival on the basis that:
"Few were more intimate with the workings of revival, few were in such constant touch with the chief instruments and their prayer-partners, and few were so well-known abroad that their reports of miraculous events would be believed and responded to."
However, when the revivalist Evan Roberts sought refuge in the home of the Penn-Lewises from the confusion in South Wales, rumours, salacious and fallacious, abounded. Some said that Roberts was Penn-Lewis' "prisoner." Claims that she was "dominating" him was condemned by Jones as "utterly absurd" . Penn-Lewis was "shattered by the opposition." Few shared Jones' view that she "helped [Roberts] to recover from the great collapse of 1906 - 1907" , stepping in to "save Evan from a total abandonment to his service to the Lord." Pentecostals maintain that Penn-Lewis decommissioned Roberts, rendering him anchorite. However, it is submitted that in actual fact, Penn-Lewis re-commissioned Roberts, anchoring him aright. The suggestion that she filled him "with condemnation" and brought him into "confusion" is risible.

(b) The Talented Mister Roberts - Re-commissioned or Decommissioned
Few have considered the Penn-Lewises as "Priscilla and Aquilla" to the exhausted "Apollos" Evan Roberts, preferring to cast the Penn-Lewises as "Jezebel and Ahab" who were determined to destroy Wales' "Elijah." Typically, both Atkinson and Lairdon have accepted, uncritically, Pentecostalism's portrayal of Jessie Penn-Lewis as a perfidious figure, preventing "Evan Roberts, who stayed in her home, from returning to the ministry." Atkinson attributes Roberts' demise to a combination of exhaustion and persecution, adding further that "Evan had fallen under the spell of a strange woman called Jessie Penn-Lewis. A more apt spelling of her first name might be 'Jezzie' as, like Jezebel, she sought to control and tame the wild prophet. But sadly, unlike Jezebel, [Jessie] succeeded. Filling Roberts' head with strange doctrines, she persuaded him to leave Wales and hide from his calling." Atkinson's prejudice is especially disappointing in view of his regard for Eifron Evan's work.
Evan Roberts' story has been described as "the most thrilling but also the most sad and sobering in all revival history." Few revivals in history can compare to the one in Wales of

904 - 1905. Few Revivalists can compare to the "phenomenon" Evan Roberts, "The Wesley of Wales." Roberts was "the most talked about Christian in the world." In six months, some 80,000 were saved. As Rees Howells recalls, "In a short while, the whole of the country was aflame."

Ultimately, a combination of forty meetings a week and the spiritual rigours of revival would take their toll. Roberts was burned out and said to be "deceived, deluded and finally, suffering from a nervous breakdown which took him out of the public limelight to live the life of a recluse." The Welsh Revival became the subject of "criticism and fears of deception." An internal review concluded that "much of what had occurred in its intensity during the 1904 - 1905 Revival in Wales, should correctly be attributed to demonic activity." Penn-Lewis' assessment was that "the Revival in Wales, which was a true work of God, revealed numbers of 'honest souls' swept off their feet by evil supernatural powers which they were not able to discern from the true working of God." As the revival's leader, Roberts became the focus of both the publicity and concern. When Roberts emerged from his "week of silence" , Penn-Lewis was convinced that he had been "deceived by the evil spirits, [seeing him in need of] much prayer." Penn-Lewis sought to share her message of the Cross with Roberts and he eventually became convinced. By Keswick of 1906, Roberts (now ensconced with the Penn-Lewises) confided in an address that it was "the Father of Lies who had persuaded him not to preach the Cross." Roberts' presentation fuelled the suggestion that Jessie Penn-Lewis intended to use "Evan's name to propagate her own ministry and message." Cartwright's version of events is that in his weakened state, Roberts came under the "spell" of Penn-Lewis:
"The strain of the incessant round of prolonged meetings began to tell. Maybe the episode in Neath should have acted as a warning. [Roberts] had wise friends like R.B. Jones or Dr F B Meyer who could have helped. Instead, he fell under the influence of Jessie Penn-Lewis of Leicester who, with her husband, the city treasurer, provided him with a home for many years when he had what would be regarded today as a breakdown. Apart from an occasional appearance at some key event, but which he took no part, Evan Roberts lived the life of a recluse. After Mrs Penn-Lewis died in 1927, he returned to Wales and was taken in by friends."
Cartwright writes in the pejorative genre that characterises Pentecostal treatment of Penn-Lewis. Penn-Lewis was part of the "wise circle" - Meyer, Moody and Murray were all numbered among her friends. Whilst the persistent pursuit of Roberts by Penn-Lewis could be misconstrued as dubious, it is insufficient grounds to impugn her motives.

(c) The Nature of Jessie Penn-Lewis' Spirituality - A Spirit in the World of Men
"Pellucid", rather than Kay's choice of "unclear" , better describes Penn-Lewis' message of continuous abiding in Christ. In defining her message as "an extreme form of identification with Christ [which] claimed [that] the human ego or self was abolished" , the author suggests that historians have not taken her teaching seriously. As such, Pentecostalism is the poorer for it.

Penn-Lewis was raised in the "the lap of Calvinistic Methodism." However, it was not until she was twenty-one years old that she felt any "inward change." She recalled that her earnest desire and efforts to restrain her besetting sins ended in "abject failure." She recalled her "many tears over the sins [she] could not conquer" until she finally saw that "in the taking of the old creation life to the Cross, the believer should be delivered from the power of sin; and that, not by conquering it, but by dying to it." Having immersed herself in service, she was disillusioned to discover that the industry failed to produce the abundant life. Penn-Lewis questioned whether she really knew the fullness of the Spirit. The result of a determined season of prayer was a vision of Isaiah's filthy rags [Isa. 64:6] and she heard a gentle voice saying, "This is the outcome of all your past service for God." The mystics, Guyon and Fenelon, had a "profound influence on [Penn-Lewis'] life." Guyon showed her "the path to the life in God" and the "continuous dependence on Christ, the Living One." Persuaded of "the inability of 'the natural man' to serve God acceptably and the need of a special enduement of power from on high" , she overcame her reluctance to "let go of her own achievements."
(d) Hands that Rocked the Keswick Cradle
From the outset, Penn-Lewis "plunged into the stream of life at Keswick, supposing herself to be one spirit with them all." However, just three years after her first visit, Penn-Lewis confided in her diary in 1895 that "something devastating happened to her at Keswick where bitter rumours abounded as to her unorthodoxy which caused her 'such pain.'" Evan Hopkins felt that she was "too subjectivist" and saw "dangers in the path of closest fellowship." In 1910, the Council of Keswick excluded her from their platform. Garrard graciously attributed her withdrawal to feeling that "the truth to be unfolded needed the full time of the Convention or its elucidation and it could no longer be faithfully made known in occasional addresses at side meetings." Post Keswick, Penn-Lewis and Roberts channelled their efforts into equipping Christian workers. This they did in the form of the magazine, The Overcomer , a "defensive and nurturing project." The magazine was augmented by a plethora of other literature as well as the Christian Workers' Conferences that became central to Penn-Lewis ministry.

4. War A mong The Saints

"These Men Are Not Drunk As You Suppose"
Whilst the terms "baptism" and "enduement" were already "current in Holiness circles" , Harris' Pentecostal League, for example, promoted prayer "for the filling of the Holy Spirit for all believers." Ironically, their magazine was even called Tongues of Fire . However, it was "the nature of the baptism and the evidence for its reception" that formed the basis of the controversy. For Pentecostals, "tongues" became the marker, a position typified by Wigglesworth who received the baptism when Mary Boddy laid hands on him in the Boddys' kitchen. Said Wigglesworth, "Speaking in tongues is an external evidence that God has done something." The "divergence of opinion - in the Pentecostal agencies" persisted finally in a cautioning, not reassuring, voice. Penn-Lewis declared that "these men are not drunk as you suppose." Although Boddy and Penn-Lewis were irreconcilably divided on the tongues issue, their views were more homologous than hostile. Sadly, Boddy's overtures to tempt Penn-Lewis and the arcane Roberts to visit Monkwearmouth failed. However, they remained cordial adversaries, engaging courteous correspondence in which Boddy appealed to Penn-Lewis' desire for full revival, asking her to consider whether her activities were "barring the Spirit from England." She was implacable and, sensing that Boddy had become hostage to fortune, replied plaintively, "I know and see what a terrible position you are in. You have committed yourselves to this line of things which is bringing upon you a storm of trouble which I fear has only just begun."
Boddy to Penn-Lewis
17 June 1907

"I happen to know of very true children of God who have received the fullness of the Holy Ghost in such fullness that He witnesses to His presence by speaking in tongues. Let us not tell them that they are possessed by the Devil or by any, but by the Holy Spirit Himself."

"We must not forbid to speak in tongues must we. May our Lord Himself guide us and give us the discernment of spirits. But at present there seems a mighty effort to keep out of Great Britain which the Lord is given and which He has promised . "
Penn-Lewis to Boddy
9 Nov 1907

"Other spirits" are at work in your midst, which will get the upper hand and bring upon you, and the work of God, terrible trouble."
"Pastor Barratt had working through him a strong force of animal magnetism, making himself almost like a galvanic battery - I believe it is quite unconsciously to himself, but it is very very serious.
"At the very same time that the Spirit of God is working, so that the false can be mingled with the true."
"Mr. Barratt needs light on some points which would interpret his position. The Lord show him and save us from this stream of mingled 'power' in England."
Mary Boddy to Penn-Lewis
4 and 12 Nov 1907

Replying in her husband's absence and in accepting "that there are dangers and fleshly demands we cannot deny", Mary Boddy's defence is resolute:
"I believe he is endeavouring to get the minds of earnest Christians on the counterfeits and dangers so much that he may lose sight of the fact that there is a true truth made [?] (sic)"
"I think if you were here now, you would see nothing that is satanic. We recognise the great subtlety of the enemy and I believe that God has mercifully guided us to recognise and detect any counterfeit or fleshly element."
Though Barratt insisted that "he did not wish to have a battle with any of God's people concerning the doctrine of 'Pentecost with signs'" , his postulation invited conflict. "Where those who oppose us try and make out that this work is all of the Devil, then we will show the world that Satan has got in among the critics." The June 1908 edition of Confidence carried a special supplement from Barratt that included the following extracts:
Confidence Supplement June 1908

Penn-Lewis and Others
Letters/Oblique References and Responses
" Every evil spirit or demon is afraid of the BLOOD OF JESUS, IT ACTS LIKE POISON TO THEM." We are perfectly safe, having been sprinkled with the Blood and are kept by the power ."

"A misconception, therefore, about the protecting power of the Blood, is serious; for those who are present in a meeting where Satan is working as well as God, may believe they are personally safe from Satan's workings, apart from their individual condition dealing with God; whilst through the ground they have given - even unknowingly - to the adversary, they are open to his power."
"I will soon be sending you some new pamphlets I have written on my way to India , [which includes] Satan Among the Critics: an answer to Dallmeyer's Satan Among the Saints. "

Dollmeyer renounced his experience at Azusa admitting, "he had been deceived by a lying spirit 'who must want to disunite the children of God and bring souls into fanaticism.' [He claimed that] Satan had sent demonic spirits to infiltrate God's host. An angel of Satan who was presently offering false gifts, false prophesying, and false visions - Satan had got in among the saints." "Deception, confusion and division is Satan's work since it frustrates the evangelisation of the world."
Convinced that "full 'abandonment to God', unless guarded by the knowledge of the methods by which the Spirit of God reveals Himself, may open the life to the invasion of spirits of darkness" , Penn-Lewis co-authorised with Roberts the book, War On The Saints, in 1913. Critics said that the book was evidence of the "confusion that she had drawn Evan into." Boddy conceded that "some may get help [from it but believed that] more will get darkness." Its import merited "an extensive repudiation" which appeared in the July 1913 edition of Confidence .
Repudiation of
Sentences from War On The Saints

"The Scriptural Truth"
Confidence , July 1913
"There are many deceived ones amongst the most devoted teachers to-day, because they do not recognise that an army of teaching spirits have come. These spirits are whispering their lies to all who are spiritual, i.e . open to spiritual things. Satan needs good men to float his lies under the guise of truth. A beautiful lie is not the infallible test, for Satan's ministers can be ministers of righteousness. [2 Cor. xi.,13-15]."
"The first scriptural word that the Writer quotes to prove that even the most devoted teachers may be deceived by evil spirits is Gal. ii.,11-14, where Paul tells us that Peter was carried away, and did not walk uprightly according to the truth of the Gospel. The second word of God is taken from Dan. xi.,35,and it is suggested that, according to this word, some of the teachers will fall."

"Paul does not say in 2 Cor. xi that Satan can be ministers of righteousness, but they fashion themselves as ministers of righteousness; and that is the same as Jesus says in Matt. vii.,15m about the false prophets, that they are coming in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. By their fruits ye shall know them. Therefore the teachers are known by their fruits."
"In the case of Peter we find no Scriptural word proving that he was deceived by an evil spirit. On the contrary he points out that that Peter did this because that he feared them, that were of the circumcision. It was not an evil spirit that caused Peter to do so, but it was his own spirit. We find it best always to read every word of the Bible with its context. In this case we find that the context clearly shows that these teachers do not fall through being deceived fall through being deceived by Satan. We read in Daniel xi.,xxxiii: They that be wise among the people shall instruct many; yet shall fall by the sword," and therefore we see that the quoted 35 th verse, is to be understood in the same way: some of them that be wise shall fall, to refine them white,even to the end of time."
In the author's view, Boddy's interpretations of both 2 Cor. 11:13-15 and Gal. 2:11-14 are preferable to Penn-Lewis'. Whilst the Apostle Paul clearly says "bad" men masquerade as good teachers deceiving the saints, it would be na ve to deny that "good can be deceived" , see Cassel Movement resolution. Boddy is overly defensive, insisting that "teachers do not fall through being deceived." Au contraire, they do. To believe that they cannot is surely a deception in and of itself.
Boddy is selective in his analysis, hypocritically not "reading every word in context." He failed to read Penn-Lewis' comments in their context where in respect of the Apostle Peter, Penn-Lewis delineated " false " teachers from " deceived " ones. Penn-Lewis' scriptural application is cumbersome although a modicum of objectivity would make one amenable to her argument that Christian teachers are susceptible to deception. The thrust of the Prophet Daniel's text is that these "wise ones" will be "refined"; however, it is the priority , not the purpose of the removal that is at issue. Acts 20:29 pertains most, especially in times of Revival.
Second Repudiation of
Sentences from War On The Saints

"The Scriptural Truth"
Confidence , July 1913
"The Writer considers passivity as the primary cause of deception and possession. In order to prove this she argues: God requires co-operation with His Spirit, and the full use of every faculty of the whole man."
"Passivity of the brain is an essential condition for the presentation to the mind of things by evil spirits. At night the brain is passive, and whilst the activity of the mind in the daytime hinders, they have their occasion at night when passivity is more pronounced in sleep."

"The Bible shows us that God is always working upon men; they may be passive or active. He can work in either state. In many places we find that dreams are given by God in a state of passivity. So God is working in a state of passivity as well as the devil. Surely Paul was in a state of passivity when he received his wonderful revelation in 2 Cor. xii.,1-4 and when the Writer supposes that night-time gives occasion to evil spirits, the Word of God is stating [Job xxxiii.,14-16]: "God speaketh once, yea twice, though men regardeth it not." In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men in slumberings upon the bed, then He openeth the ears of men."
Given that Christ possesses Christians, the author believes that the term "possession" is unhelpful in this context. Jones felt that what Penn-Lewis and Roberts meant by "possession" was "harassment" or "depression." Penn-Lewis defined "possession" as "A HOLD OF EVIL SPIRITS ON A MAN IN ANY SHADE OR DEGREE." She believed that Christians were susceptible to "possession" because they "unwittingly fulfilled the conditions upon which evil spirits work." She identified three portals: (1) wilful sin, (2) accepting counterfeits of Divine workings and (3) cultivating passivity , defining "passivity" as "a cessation of the active exercise of the will over spirit, soul and body." She contrasted passivity with "activity", not activism or "works", but workings . Passivity causes "loss of self-control and free will" whereas Divine Life invigorates the Spirit-infused faculties, enabling co-operation with God. Rendered supine, a passive person becomes a disabled automaton. In contrast, those not affected by passivity, when inactive, remain on standby for activity. For Penn-Lewis, the renewed mind is alert not inert . This argument needs to be distinguished from the tension between legalistic activism and benign grace .
Third Repudiation of
Sentences from War On The Saints

"The Scriptural Truth"
Confidence , July 1913
"The Writer points out that some baptised people will be deceived or possessed by evil spirits in seeking the presence of God. She writes about it: - The true presence of God is not felt by the physical senses, but in the spirit. The counterfeit presence of God is an influence from the outside on the believer. All exterior manifestations upon the believer coming from without upon the body have the characteristics of obsession, because they come from deceiving spirits [a presence filling the room and felt by the physical senses - waves of power pouring upon and through the physical being, or feeling of wind or a breathing upon the auto-man]."

"We are told in the Bible: "Seek My face," and Jesus promised, "I will manifest Myself"; and often times instances are given where the presence of God is felt by the physical sense. When God was with Moses in the burning bush, he looked and said: " I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned." The Holy Ghost was manifested in such a way that it was felt by the physical sense for it is written: "Suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting; and there appeared unto them tongues parting asunder like as a fire, and it sat upon each one of them." This manifestation of the presence of God was really touching the outer man. The sound of the wind itself was felt, the tongues of fire were seen, and so the physical senses were the means to perceive this exterior manifestation. If the Writer is right, we must ascribe the whole Pentecostal outpouring to the working of the evil spirits."
The author submits that due to his great admiration of Andrew Murray , Boddy may well have been mindful that Murray enjoyed a "deep bond in the Spirit" with Penn-Lewis and shared her views. Murray anticipated no "new experience" accompanying the baptism. Murray also saw Satan "using his crafty device to keep souls in bondage by inciting to a religion in the flesh." Quoting Penn-Lewis directly, Murray said, "Only that which comes from the Holy Ghost through your spirit has its origin in God." Because the Baptism of the Spirit is the essence of revival , counterfeiting was inevitable. Where true baptism takes place in the spirit, the counterfeit asserts itself in the "realm of the senses." Believers need to be equipped with "knowledge and discernment" to preserve them from danger. Penn-Lewis knew the dangers for those "who did not know identification with Christ in His death as the place of safety from the wiles and assaults of the Devil." Only knowledge of "the Cross can save such [person] from spiritual wreckage." Penn-Lewis' and Evan's combined experiences are that which are "conserved to the Church of God in War on the Saints ." Boddy's suggestion that Penn-Lewis' position forced her to ascribe "the whole Pentecostal outpouring to the working of evil spirits" is unjustified.
Fourth Repudiation of
Sentences from War On The Saints

"The Scriptural Truth"
Confidence , July 1913
"The counterfeit presence of God is nearly always manifested as love, to which the believer opens himself without hesitation, and finds it fills and satiates his innermost being, but the deceived one does not know that he has opened himself to evil spirits, in the deepest need of his inner life."

"We never find in the Bible reason to believe that evil spirits may bring love, but Paul say about the Baptism of the Holy Ghost in Roms. v., 5 that 'the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Ghost which was given to us.' Love that we need for our inner life is a fruit of the Spirit [Gal. v., 22], and Jesus tells us that we know by the fruits with whom we have to deal with."
The author considers that Boddy's use of Rom. 5:5 as a "baptism" text is incongruous. In addition, Penn-Lewis can hardly be arguing that agape love is demonic; the Devil counterfeits love ( eros ) at the level of feelings. "Love" is not a feeling; it is the indwelling Person of God [1 Jn. 4:18]. For Penn-Lewis, "the Kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or 'There it is!' For behold, the kingdom of God is within you." [Lk. 17:20-21]
Adding the Flour
Jessie Penn-Lewis was convinced that like the situation Elijah's servant was in, malignant elements had unwittingly been introduced and these had to be countered. Evan Roberts was perhaps the most high profile example of those who had eaten the deathly stew. Pentecostalism tacitly acknowledged Penn-Lewis' warning that revival afforded a "great moment for deceiving spirits to find entrance to the believer by deception through counterfeits," as is evidenced by Boddy's addition of the flour.
The Tongues Issue
Boddy was uneasy with Barratt's "emphasis on tongues." However, Boddy felt that he personally had "nothing further to lose by maintaining the apparently divisive doctrine." By 1912, Boddy had modified his view on tongues. Mary Boddy argued in Confidence that tongues "are not necessarily a convincing sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit." The shift from "tongues as the invariable evidence" to "love as the continual evidence" repositioned Boddy's Pentecostalism to the center ground.
"Charismatics are prone to make too much of tongues and evangelicals are inclined to make too little." Penn-Lewis did not forbid tongues but she cautioned that "until the Church was more acquainted with the counterfeiting methods of the spirits of evil and the laws which gave them power of working, any testimony to such an experience cannot be safely relied upon." Lost in the ensuing m e was her view that baptism was not "the goal of the Christian life." To her, it was only intended "to be but the beginning of a path which should lead the believer into the fellowship of the Cross and through the death of the Cross, into union with the Ascended Lord in the bosom of the Father." This is the pathway to "the torrential power of Pentecost" , without which "the inward work of God is hindered by bad men through their obedience to earthly passions and by good men through their striving to be good in their own way, by their natural strength and a multiplicity of seemingly holy labours and contrivances."
More than a "Book About Demons"
The author hesitates to say that War on the Saints presents an over-realized view of the demonic. However, he feels that it should be read in conjunction with her other writings as reading it in isolation, readers might forget that Satan is "God's Devil." Believers need to be appraised of the "danger from evil beings in the unseen world." Boddy's branding of the book as the "Book about Demons" deprived countless Christians of an invaluable guide to the operations of the demonic realm gleaned from Penn-Lewis' "God-given knowledge and experience of, together with the insight into, the devices of the enemy gained by Mr Roberts." For decades, War on the Saints stood in the gap, alone. Prior to its publication, "demons and evil spirits were fast disappearing from academic and serious pastoral study."
If ever the need for collaboration needed exampling, Atkinson's introduction to his demonology course explains, "It is so we might know what sort of enemy we are up against and how to overcome him." One suspects that Penn-Lewis' "strange teachings" would have enriched Atkinson's research. Indeed, no serious study of the demonic could afford to ignore the book although many have chosen to.
The publication in 1997 of Hank Hanegraff's repudiation of the Word Faith Movement, Counterfeit Revival and Christianity in Crisis , as with Stanford's rebuke of the Charismatic Movement, The Red Letters that appeared in 1965 , confirm the "cyclical" nature of history. Hanegraff's warnings echo Sanford's withering imagery of the "onrushing charismatic four horsemen - the baptism, tongues, healing and demonism [so called] - advancing to the very door of every Christian home and church." Both evokes memories of Jessie Penn-Lewis' protests and such is the cyclical nature of things. History suggests that, "those who had been so instrumental in bringing an important contribution to the renewal of the Church were unable to recognize, as coming from God, a further such contribution coming through other channels." This is a great sadness especially as secession has replaced succession. Consequently, Isaiah's words that "those who err in mind will know the truth and those who criticise will accept instruction" [Is. 29:24] seem a distant hope.
The impression of Jessie Penn-Lewis given to the author was akin to Jem and Scout's image of Boo Radley in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird . Like Atticus' children, the author is glad that he finally met her for himself as she, too, turned out to be the unsung hero. Pentecostalism has "demonised" Penn-Lewis and now, being "The Lion King", Pentecostalism has become ever more vituperative towards its critics and dissembling with its history, it is still to be hoped that Church history's tendency to "honour its revolutionary sons and daughters when they are safely buried" might yet see her "canonised."
Cain and Babel
Discovering Our Roots
Pentecostalism claims its antecedents from Acts, although the author rather suspects that to discover its roots, the church, per se , ought to look to Genesis and, in particular, the stories of Cain, "The City Builder" [Gen. 4:12] and Nimrod [Gen. 11:4] where Nimrod's attempt to climb into heaven God sabotaged.
Starting something "new" has invariably necessitated leaving something old. Saul's, rather than Abraham's , spirit has tended to predominate as doors slam to the rebuke of "Absalom" and the leavers retort "Laban" as the speckled ones follow behind, with Rachel clutching the idols. Historically, hubris has frustrated dialogue and an ugly Mexican stand-off between self-authenticating ministries and self-appointed spiritual policemen produces an estrangement that promotes demonic interests.
At the time of writing, the author believes that the church is in the grip of Amos' famine [Amos 8:11-12]. Even now, many have gone out to gather herbs. The author submits that we are duty bound to exercise more discernment than ever. In post modernity, we must neither confuse cynicism for discernment, nor gullibility for an openness to God. The author, in seeking a "true Pentecost", is acutely aware of the satanic counterfeit [2 Cor. 11:14] and believes that the church is in need of spiritual directors who are able to guide believers through the labyrinthine realm of the Spirit.

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