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Asa Mahan and the Development of

American Holiness Theology



By Donald W. Dayton
North Park Theological Seminary  


Source: Wesleyan Theological Journal

Wesley Center Online


A recent Christianity Today editorial devoted to Asa Mahan was entitled “A Man Worth Examining.”[1] One cannot but concur in this judgment. Mahan was successively president of Oberlin College , Cleveland University , and Adrian College , and then retired to an active life in Britain as editor and writer. Intensely committed to Charles Finney’s “new measure” revivalism, he participated in the “Arminianizing” of Calvinist theology and became the major architect of the controversial “Oberlin perfectionism.”

“Philosophically Mahan was a major figure in the “academic orthodoxy” that vied with transcendentalism for dominance in pre-Civil War America and had major impact on the development of the evangelical traditions and, consequently, on much of American culture. In his commitment to abolitionism, women’s rights, temperance, the peace movement, and other reform movements, Mahan illustrates the close conjunction of revivalism and social reform during this period. But these facets of Mahan’s career are already beginning to receive attention.[2]

I wish to argue that Mahan can also be used to illustrate major shifts that took place during the nineteenth century in the thinking of perfectionist and holiness groups and to make clearer the interrelationships of Oberlin perfectionism, Methodistic holiness groups, and the Keswick movement, as well as shed a great deal of light on the origins of Pentecostalism.

Interpreters within the Methodistic holiness movement have tended to emphasize the distinctions between the Wesleyan and Oberlin doctrines of Christian perfection. Though at one point I took this position myself,[3] I am now convinced that these distinctions have been overdrawn. This becomes clearer when one concentrates on Mahan rather than Finney as the determinative force behind Oberlin perfectionism. The Oberlin teaching was developed in part under the influence of Wesley, and its earlier period was designated by B. B. Warfield as its “Wesleyan period.”[4]

Mahan’s Christian Perfection was the major expression of this period, and upon its publication George Peck, then editor of the Methodist Quarterly Review, was “satisfied that the thing which we mean by Christian Perfection is truly set forth in that work.”[5] It was primarily with the introduction of the doctrine of the “simplicity of moral action” that major cleavages began to appear in the Oberlin teaching.[6] Finney and his colleagues began to move more in a Pelagian direction while “Mahan moved closer to Wesleyan theology as he grew older.”[7]

This theological movement was reflected as well in Mahan’s institutional alignments. He spent most of the 1860s as president of Adrian College , which had been founded by the abolitionist Wesleyan Methodists, and just before his retirement transferred his church membership to the local Wesleyan Methodist church in Adrian.[8] One may also trace the impact of Mahan on the circles associated with Phoebe Palmer and her “Tuesday Meeting” for the promotion of holiness.[9]

The significance of Mahan for the development of holiness thought in the nineteenth century is best seen in a close comparison of his two most popular books: The Scripture Doctrine of Christian Perfection (1839)[10] and The Baptism of the Holy Ghost (1870).[11] Both of these books were originally published under Methodistic holiness auspices. The first was published by D. S. King, who shortly thereafter became publisher and then editor of the Guide to Christian Perfection, while the second was published by the Palmers after Phoebe Palmer had become editor of the same journal, now renamed the Guide to Holiness.

The first of Mahan’s books is fairly typical of the development given to holiness theology until about the time of the Civil War, while the second book indicates a new theological development of the doctrine that gained acceptance in the years after the Civil War and by the turn of the century had become widely accepted not only in holiness circles but to a certain extent beyond them. The new element is the use of the term “baptism of the Holy Ghost” and the model of Pentecost in Acts 2 in explicating the meaning of “entire sanctification.”

Some interpreters have assumed that this language can be traced back to Wesley,[12] but a recent study by Herbert McGonigle[13] strongly calls this assumption into question. McGonigle argues that Wesley rarely uses the expression “baptism of the Holy Ghost” and that his major statements of Christian perfection are developed in a Christological vein that relies little on the development of a doctrine of the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. By and large the same is true of other early British Methodists, though the language does begin to appear in Joseph Benson and John Fletcher.

When one turns to the renewed emphasis on Christian perfection in America , whether in the Guide, in Phoebe Palmer’s circles, or in early Oberlin perfectionism, the development is along classical Wesleyan lines. One occasionally finds references to a “baptism of the Holy Ghost” but not as a developed doctrine and not usually applied to the “second blessing.” The first hints of this teaching seem to occur in Oberlin perfectionism, but the exact development is difficult to trace.

Some have made a great deal of Finney’s use of the term in his memoirs,[14] but there the reference is to his conversion, and the volume was not published until 1876, when this language was relatively common. The “baptism of the Holy Ghost” plays little role in his Views of Sanctification (1840) and no part in his systematic theology (the relevant section was published in 1847). A similar situation seems to obtain with Mahan. The “baptism of the Holy Ghost” dominates the Autobiography (1882) and the more strictly “spiritual” account Out of Darkness into Light (1877). Mahan refers to those “two great doctrines which have been the theme of my life during the past forty-six years,”[15] but the early literature does not bear him out. The new language does not appear in Christian Perfection or his other early writings.

The first real development of this new language appears to have taken place among the two minor figures of Oberlin perfectionism. In his Holiness of Christians in the Present Life (1840), Henry Cowles gives greater attention to the Holy Spirit as the Agent of sanctification, but he does not refer to a “baptism of the Holy Ghost.” Shortly thereafter, however, in two sermons on the “Baptism of the Holy Ghost,” Cowles concludes that “the plan of salvation contemplates as its prime object, the sanctification of the Church; and relies on the baptism of the Holy Spirit as the great efficient power for accomplishing the work.”[16]

But it was John Morgan who first gave this teaching extended development in an essay entitled “The Gift of the Holy Spirit,” where he argues that “the baptism of the Holy Ghost, then, in its Pentecostal fullness, was not to be confined to the Primitive Church ; but is the common privilege of all believers.”[17] But this essay seems not to have had major impact. I do not find it cited until after Mahan’s book in 1870 served as the definitive explication of this Oberlin teaching.

It is difficult to determine exactly when Mahan turned to this doctrine. He left Oberlin in 1850, and a lecture published in 1851 argues in line with his Christian Perfection that “the mission of the Spirit is wholly subsidiary to that of Christ, and is coextensive with it in design and actual influence.”[18] On the other hand, we know from his correspondence with Phoebe Palmer about the publication of Baptism of the Holy Ghost,[19] that the book consists of lectures developed at Adrian College six to eight years earlier. These facts indicate that Mahan began to use this language during the decade of the 1850s or in the early 1860s.

Other currents converge on this same period. One may trace a rising interest in this doctrine in the Guide to Holiness during the 1850s.[20] William Arthur’s book The Tongue of Fire, from Britain , was published in New York in 1856 and called for a “new Pentecost.”[21] Much of the literature associated with the revival of 1857–58 spoke of “Pentecost” and the “baptism of the Holy Ghost” without identifying either with the experience of entire sanctification,[22] though it should be noticed that the spread of “higher Christian life” teachings was closely associated with this period of revival.

It was in 1859 that Phoebe Palmer published The Promise of the Father that argued from the quotation of Joel in Acts 2 the right of women to preach.[23] But it is especially her letters published in the Guide from her revival campaigns in the British Isles during the Civil War that reveal the extent to which she had adopted the new language. Her report from New castle indicates that she preached “the endowment of power, the full baptism of the Holy Ghost, as the indispensable, ay, absolute necessity of all the disciples of Jesus.”[24] She comments as well that the importance of this way of describing the experience had just recently been impressed upon her.

That Phoebe Palmer was using Pentecost now as the model of this experience and that it was to be explicitly identified with “holiness” is made clear in another report from Newcastle: “At our afternoon meetings, ‘Holiness unto the Lord,’ or, in other words, the full baptism of the Holy Spirit, as received by the one hundred and twenty disciples on the day of Pentecost, is set forth as the absolute necessity of all believers of every name.”[25]

In spite of these developments Phoebe Palmer was still reluctant to publish Mahan’s book in 1870, arguing that it was too controversial. But Mahan replied that widespread discussion of the doctrine indicated that the churches were ready for his book in which “the doctrine of entire sanctification is presented in a form old and yet new.”[26]

Phoebe Palmer finally capitulated and the book immediately had major impact through several editions. Less than a dozen years later Mahan could report that “it has been very extensively circulated in America , in Great Britain and in all missionary lands; and has been translated into the German and Dutch languages.”[27]

After 1870 one can trace an increasing crescendo of “Pentecostal” and “baptism of the Holy Ghost” language. In 1871, Oberlin was finally reconciled with orthodox Congregationalism, and Finney addressed the Oberlin Council of Congregationalism on the “baptism of the Holy Ghost.” It was the same year that two Free Methodist ladies told D. L. Moody that his preaching lacked power and launched his spiritual quest for the experience. The teaching became a major theme of Moody and his successors.

In the early 1870s, Mahan retired to England , where he played a major role in the Oxford and Brighton meetings for the “promotion of scriptural holiness” out of which the Keswick movement grew. The report of the earlier meeting indicates that, of all the “conversational meetings” at Oxford, “none was of more interest than that in the Town Hall, in which the baptism of the Holy Spirit was the special subject” under the guidance of Asa Mahan.[28] At the Brighton Convention (of which he was one of the conveners), Mahan directed a series of sectional meetings at which “the Baptism of the Holy Ghost was the theme of exposition and prayer. Each afternoon the room was crowded to overflowing.”[29] Other evidence could be provided.

But Mahan’s book and its new terminology also had major impact within Methodism, especially within the growing holiness movement. The Buffalo Christian Advocate observed that “the author has hit upon just the right time for his work. The church is awakening to the importance of the baptism of powerhungering for a dainty meal, abundantly provided, but which few enjoy.” The Methodist Recorder found the theme “central in the current of all New Testament teaching.”[30] And in 1874, Daniel Steele, then of Syracuse but later of Boston University, described his own experience in terms of a “baptism of the Spirit” and advised his brethren “to cease to discuss the subtleties and endless questions arising from entire sanctification or Christian Perfection, and all cry mightily to God for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.”[31]

One can note in the Guide to Holiness an increasing tendency to use “Pentecostal” language. This climaxed in 1897 when the latter part of the title was changed from “and Revival Miscellany” (dating from Phoebe Palmer’s days) to “and Pentecostal Life” in response to the “signs of the times, which indicate inquiry, research and ardent pursuit of the gifts, graces, and power of the Holy Spirit. ‘The Pentecostal idea’ is pervading Christian thought and aspiration more than ever before.”[32]

The same issue announced inside the front cover a new edition of that “Great Pentecostal Gift” the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, “this truly magnificent work of Dr. Mahan on the Great Theme of the Period.”

By the turn of the century everything had become “Pentecostal.” Sermons are published in the column “Pentecostal Pulpit”; women’s reports are entitled “Pentecostal Womanhood”; testimonies are “Pentecostal Testimonies”; and devotions are held in the “Pentecostal closet.” This is but an extreme illustration of what had become generally true in most strands of the holiness movement by 1900.

This adoption of “Pentecostal” and “baptism of the Holy Ghost” language by holiness and related traditions involved much more than a mere shift in terminology. When “Christian perfection” becomes “baptism of the Holy Ghost,” there is a major theological transformation. The significance of this shift can best be seen in a close comparison of the two books by Mahan. By this procedure we can focus the study and, by examining the development in a single mind, see in greater relief what is taking place.

1. There is, first of all, a shift from Christocentrism to an emphasis on the Holy Spirit that is really quite radical in character. Christian Perfection, like Wesley’s Plain Account, is basically oriented to Christ for the work of sanctification. Where Mahan does speak of the Holy Spirit, it is as the “Divine Teacher” who “sustains to Christ the same relation that a teacher does to the particular science which he teaches. His object is not to present himself to the pupil, but the science. So the Spirit shows not himself, but Christ to our minds.”[33] In this book Mahan will give no autonomy to the Spirit in guidance and suggests that a man should resist any undefined impressions to speak or undertake any particular course of action unless he can advance clear, rational reasons for such activity.

In the Baptism of the Holy Ghost the fundamental question has now become “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” Instead of anchoring the work of the Spirit in Christ, Mahan now argues that Christ himself was “dependent upon the indwelling, and influence, and baptism of the Holy Spirit, the same in all essential particulars as in us.”[34] And though Mahan is cautious, this shift involves a movement toward giving the Spirit autonomy in guidance and the enabling to “prophesy.”

2. This shift in emphasis is underlined by another shift in terminology. In Christian Perfection, salvation history is divided into “covenants,” the old covenant of the moral law and the new covenant of grace, of which Christ is the Mediator. The pivotal point between the two is Christ, especially His atoning death. In Baptism of the Holy Ghost salvation history is divided into dispensations. It is the Spirit who is “the crowning glory and promise of the New Dispensation”[35] and it is Pentecost that is the pivotal point between the dispensations. This shift adds a third division to salvation history and pre pares the way for easier coalescence with dispensational theology.

3. This shift in terminology involves as well a radical shift in exegetical foundations on which the doctrine of sanctification is built. In Christian Perfection, Mahan relies on a selection of texts that is similar, but not identical, to the set of texts used by Wesley. Both Mahan and Wesley hardly ever refer to the Book of Acts, and then not to texts that become important in Mahan’s later book.

In the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, however, almost all the key texts are taken from the Book of Acts. Basic, of course, is the account of Pentecost, but other accounts of the receiving of the Spirit come into focus. Other passages from the New Testament that speak of the Holy Spirit play a role, as well as such prophetic passages as Joel 2:28 (quoted, of course, in Acts 2 ). There are very few texts that appear in both books.

This fact points to an ambiguity that plagued efforts to synthesize these two doctrines from the days of John Morgan and Henry Cowles. A study of the biblical doctrine of “perfection” does not naturally lead to the account of Pentecost, and vice versa. This constitutional instability of the synthesis may help to explain why the concern for sanctification tended to drop out of the Pentecostal movement.

4. This shift in exegetical foundations tends to bring into view a new set of contexts and related biblical ideas. Among these are (a) a new emphasis on power (cf. Acts 1:8 ). We have seen above how this element moved to the fore when Phoebe Palmer adopted “Pentecostal” terminology. Mahan notes that at Pentecost “power was one of the most striking characteristics of this baptism”[36] and the idea permeates the whole of his second book. (b) 1 Corinthians 12 with its list of the gifts of the Spirit becomes more determinative. Mahan tries, as have other holiness writers, to emphasize the fruit of the Spirit over the gifts of the Spirit and not “the miraculous, but common influence of the Spirit.”[37] But in Baptism of the Holy Ghost this concern is necessarily weakened. Making Pentecost normative for all believers cannot but raise the question of the place of the more “miraculous gifts” like healing, and one can trace after 1870 especially a rising interest in faith healing in holiness and related traditions. (c) A heavy emphasis falls on “prophecy” which Mahan understands as “the power of utterance for the edification of the church and the conviction of sinners.” But this gift now becomes “the common privilege of all believers” and contributes to a concern for “testimony” and “speaking as the Spirit giveth utterance.”[38]

5. There is also an intensification of the use of prophecy in the predictive sense. This is manifested in several ways.

(a) A development of the Christian life in terms of living in the Pentecostal reality makes more difficult the direct appropriation of Old Testament models. The Old Testament is read more in terms of its looking forward to the Pentecostal outpouring of the Spirit in a promise fulfillment pattern. One of the most determinative of the new expressions is the phrase “the promise of the Father.”

(b) There is also an intensification of the expectation of the ushering in of the millennium. Mahan felt that the contemporary interest in the Holy Spirit was a sign that the millennium was dawning and assigned to Methodism a special place in the last days:

The central article of her creed is the great central Truth of the Gospel. If she will be true to her calling, she will not only enable “the fountain to be opened” in her own midst, but also in other communions. When this takes place, “then is the millennium near, even at the door.”[39]

(c) New emphasis falls on problems of the interpretation of prophecy. In the later book Mahan devoted several pages[40] to determining the meaning of the phrases “in that day” or “in those days” that occur in the prophecies that he is now utilizing. He concluded that these expressions referred not primarily to Pentecost but to those final days of spiritual blessing just before the advent of the millennium. In this discussion one may see the beginning of the distinction between the “earlier” and “latter” rains of spiritual blessing that became so prominent in later holiness and Pentecostal thought.

All of these developments take place, of course, within Mahan’s postmillennial framework. But the lectures behind the Baptism of the Holy Ghost were first given in the 1860s. The prophecy conferences that signaled the rise of premillennialism did not take place until the late 1870s. And it was not until 1882, for example, that A. T. Pierson, prominent in the Keswick movement, capitulated to premillennialism.[41] But we can see that once attention is shifted to the “baptism of the Holy Ghost,” as Mahan developed it, the ground is already well prepared for the growth of premillennialism.

6. In the shift from “Christian perfection” to “baptism of the Holy Ghost” there is also a shift from emphasis on the goal and nature of the “holy” life to an event in which this change takes place. In the earlier book this goal is expressed in highly ethical and moral terms. For Mahan “perfection in holiness implies a full and perfect discharge of our entire duty, of all existing obligations in respect to God and all other beings. It is perfect obedience to the moral law.”[42] It is clear how such a position easily correlates with the mood of social reform that dominated pre-Civil War America. The later book has a greater emphasis on personal “cleansing” and “purity” and concentrates on God’s method for achieving this. Explicating this in terms of the baptism of the Holy Ghost cannot but emphasize the “eventness” of the experience of holiness, perhaps to the ultimate detriment of ethical concerns, especially those of social ethics.

7. There is finally in the later book a much stronger emphasis on the assurance that the Pentecostal baptism brings.[43] “Where the Holy Ghost is received, such a change is wrought in the subject that he himself will become distinctly conscious of the change . . . a change observable also to others around.”[44] One can trace after 1870[45] a concern for a “conscious” baptism of the Spirit. It is easy to see how these sorts of concern could raise the question of a “physical evidence” of this baptism and how the experience of “speaking in tongues” could provide an answer to this concern. Indeed, there seem to be several instances of this experience in holiness circles between 1870 and the outbreak of Pentecostalism in 1900.[46]

These comparisons between these two books by Mahan delineate a major theological reorientation that took place in Nineteenth Century American holiness circles. Two basic patterns for the development of holiness theology have been explored. By concentrating on Asa Mahan, who embodies within himself so much of this theological transition, we have also seen more clearly the close interrelationships between the major holiness currents in the nineteenth century: Oberlin perfectionism, the Methodistic holiness movement, and the Keswick movement. Many details of the story need filling out, but the main outline is clear.

But this study also illuminates the backgrounds of Pentecostalism. It is possible to trace the rise of “Pentecostal” language through the whole last half of the nineteenth century. It is not surprising that modern Pentecostalism should sprout in this well prepared ground. It was therefore a holiness evangelist who founded Bethel Bible School near Topeka , Kans. , where the doctrine that the evidence of the Pentecostal baptism of the Holy Spirit is the gift of speaking in tongues was first expounded. And in 1906 it was a black holiness evangelist who came to speak in a Nazarene mission and saw the launching of the Azusa Street Revival from which the rise of modern Pentecostalism is usually dated.[47]


[1] Christianity Today, June 22, 1973, p 23.

[2] Early in this century Mahan was studied by Paul Fleisch in his uncompleted Zur Geschichte der Heiligungsbewegung. Erstes Heft: Die Heiligungsbewegung uon Wesley bis Boardman (Leipzig: Wallmann, 1910); and by Benjamin B. Warfield in articles in the Princeton Theological Review (1921), later gathered into Vol. 2 of Perfectionism (New York: Oxford U.P., 1931) and reprinted in an abridged edition by the Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1958. The period of Mahan’s presidency of Oberlin College is treated in detail in Robert S. Fletcher’s two volume History of Oberlin College (Oberlin: Oberlin College, 1943), though with insufficient attention to Mahan’s religious and theological development. Mahan is considered to some extent in Edward H. Madden, Civil Disobedience and Moral Law in Nineteenth Century American Philosophy (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1968); and D. H. Meyer, The Instructed Conscience: The Shaping of the American National Ethic (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1972); but in more detail in Barbara Zikmund, “Asa Mahan and Oberlin Perfectionism” (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Duke University, 1969) and James Hamilton, “A Comparison of the Moral Theories of Charles Finney and Asa Mahan” (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1972). A recent symposium at Asbury College (April 23–24, 1973) on “Asa Mahan and the Academic Orthodoxy” included papers by Harold B. Kuhn, Edward Madden, Barbara Zikmund, and Timothy Smith.

[3] Cf. Donald W. Dayton, The American Holiness Movement: a Bibliographic Introduction (Wilmore, Ky.: B. L. Fisher Library, Asbury Theological Seminary, 1971), pp. 19–20. This essay is also available in the 1971 Proceedings of the American Theological Library Association.

[4] Perfectionism (1958 abridgment), p. 66.

[5] Methodist Quarterly Review 23 (April, 1841): 307–8

[6] James H. Fairchild, “The Doctrine of Sanctification at Oberlin,” Congregational Quarterly 18 (April,1876), though Warfield is a better guide to the development than Fairchild for our purposes.

[7] Barbara Zikmund, “Asa Mahan and Oberlin Perfectionism,” p. 241.

[8] Ibid., p. 221, but based on a notice in the Hamilton Literary Monthly 6 (May, 1872 ): 355.

[9] In a review of Phoebe Palmer’s Present to My Christian Friend, Mahan found her writings “among the most profitable that can be placed in the hands of enquirers after holiness,” Oberlin Evangelist 7 (1845):86. Phoebe Palmer, in turn, put Mahan’s testimony first in her anthology Pioneer Experiences (New York: W. C. Palmer, Jr., 1872), and the second edition of her Way of Holiness (New York: Lane & Scott, 1851) contains a commendatory preface by Mahan. Mahan was quoted and published in the Guide, often in the midst of lists of Methodist writers. Cf. Guide to Holiness 10 (1850):4. Other evidence could be cited.

[10]  I am using the second edition published by D. S. King of Boston, 1839. There were 10 editions within the first 10 years, as well as a number of later reprints, including a Twentieth Century edition by the Free Methodist Publishing House.

[11] I am using primarily the first edition (New York: W. C. Palmer, Jr., 1870). More common is a British edition ( London : Elliot Stock, n.d.) with an appendix containing Charles Finney’s “Enduement of Power.” There have been a number of other editions, including a very recent paperback reprint distributed by Edwin Newby, Noblesville , Ind.

[12] W. J. Hollenweger comments, for example, that “John Wesley . . . had already made a distinction between the sanctified, or those who had been baptized in the Spirit, and ordinary Christians,” The Pentecostals (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1972), p. 21.

[13] “Pneumatological Nomenclature in Early Methodism,” Wesleyan Theological Journal 8 (spring, 1973 ): 64.

[14] Cf., for example, Frederick Dale Bruner, A Theology of the Holy Spirit (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1970), pp. 4042, 33235, etc.

[15] Autobiography, Intellectual, Moral and Spiritual (London: T. Woolmer 1882), p. 321.

[16] Oberlin Evangelist 2 (1840):93.

[17] Oberlin Quarterly Review 1 (August, 1845 ):115. This essay was also published serially in the Oberlin Evangelist and later as a pamphlet with an introduction by Finney (Oberlin: E. J. Goodrich, 1875), in which form it had major impact on A. J. Gordon, identified by Frederick Dale Bruner as a major figure on the way to Pentecostalism.

[18] Lectures on the Ninth of Romans; Election, and the Influence of the Holy Spirit (Boston: Charles Pierce, 1851), p. 173.

[19] These letters are among the Phoebe Palmer papers in the Drew University Library.

[20] Cf. J. D., “Entire Sanctification and the Fullness of the Spirit” (arguing they are not the same), Guide to Holiness 29 (April,1856):97–98, and A. A. Phelps, “An Important Distinction Between the ‘Witness’ and the ‘Baptism’ of the Spirit; Saving Faith,” Guide to Holiness 33 (May, 1858):129–31.

[21] (New York: Harper, 1856), still in print with Light and Life Press.

[22] Cf. reports in Warren Chandler, Great Revivals and the Great Republic (Nashville: Publishing House of the M. E. Church, 1924) and such reports as Pentecost, or the Work of God in Philadelphia , by William McClure, sent from Ireland to investigate the revival.

[23] (Boston: Henry V. Degen, 1859).

[24] These letters were later collected into Four Years in the Old World (New York: W. C. Palmer, Jr., 1870) This reference is from a letter dated September 16, 1859, p. 96.

[25] Ibid., p. 107 (letter dated October 12, 1859).

[26] Letter of Asa Mahan to Phoebe Palmer, dated May 4 (perhaps 7 or 9), 1870, Drew University Library. This account is also confirmed by Mahan in his Autobiography, pp. 413–14.

[27] Autobiography, p. 414.

[28] Account of the Union Meeting for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Oxford, Aug. 29 to Sept. 7, 1874 (various publishers, n.d.), p. 141.

[29] Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29 to June 7, 1875 ( Brighton , England : W. J. Smith, n.d.), p. 383.

[30] Press reports, Guide to Holiness, Vol. 14 (June, 1871), inside front cover.

[31] “Baptism of the Spirit,” Guide to Holiness 20 (February, 1874):1.

[32] “PentecostWhat Is It?” Guide to Holiness 66 (January, 1897):37.

[33] Christian Perfection, pp. 164–65.

[34] Baptism of the Holy Ghost, p. 21.

[35] Ibid., p. 50.

[36] Ibid., p. 78.

[37] Christian Perfection, p. 166. Cf. Baptism of the Holy Ghost, p. 113.

[38] Baptism of the Holy Ghost, p. 47.

[39] Ibid., p. 150.

[40] Ibid., pp. 138–43.

[41] L. Moody at Home (Chicago: Fleming H. Revell, 1886), p. 168.

[42] Christian Perfection, p. 7, apparently Mahan’s basic definition.

[43] Cf., for example, Baptism of the Holy Ghost, p. 199.

[44] Ibid., p. 39.

[45] Cf. the papers of Hannah Whitall Smith in Ray Strachey, Religious Fanaticism (London: Faber & Gwyer, 1928), passim.

[46] Cf. the summary of evidence collected by Stanley Frodsham in With Signs Following in William Menzies, Anointed to Serve: The Story of the Assemblies of God (Springfield, Mo.: Gospel Publishing Company, 1971), pp. 2933. An additional report may be found in A. M. Kiergan, Historical Sketches of the Revival of True Holiness and Local Church Polity from 1865–1916 (Fort Scott, Kans.: Board of Publication of the Church Advocate and Good Way, 1971), p. 31.

[47] For further development of this thesis cf. H. Vinson Synan, The PentecostalHoliness Movement in the United States (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1971) and Donald W. Dayton, “From ‘Christian Perfection’ to the ‘Baptism of the Holy Ghost’: A Study in the Origins of Pentecostalism,” in H. Vinson Synan, Aspects of Pentecostal Origins (Plainfield, N.J.: Logos, 1974). In progress is a further major statement of this thesis by the present writer.