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Melvin E. Dieter


Wesleyan Theological Journal

Wesley Center Online


Was the holiness tradition in the American churches a primitivist-restitutionist or a reformationist-traditionalist movement? This analysis argues that both of these themes shaped the movement with particular intensity at specific periods in the tradition’s development. At the same time, enduring elements of each tinged its life and thought throughout the whole of its history.

This essay first summarizes how John Wesley’s doctrine of Christian perfection encouraged the adoption of a reformationist-traditionalist movement. Then it shows how this doctrine and other developments encouraged a primitivist-restorationist inclination.


The Historic Church Connection


Some scholars have contended that Wesley’s doctrine of entire sanctification, the reason for existence of Methodism and the Holiness tradition, was a natural filling out of certain deficiencies in Reformation doctrine. They conclude that his teaching of the possibility of the believer’s freedom from willful sin and perfection in love in this life wedded the Reformation’s concerns for salvation by faith alone with the Roman Catholic ethic of love. Consequently, Wesley stood directly in the line of the “magisterial” reformers. This Reformed-Anglican-Methodist rootage of the holiness revival is one factor which tends to tie the movement to the now existing “main-line” churches of the Christian tradition.[1]

The holiness movement’s early self-understanding of its mission in relation to the existing churches also contributed to its “main-line” character. The holiness revival in America was born in the 1830s out of the efforts of its Methodist founders to restore the experiential knowledge of Wesley’s evangelical perfectionism to the central position which the doctrine traditionally had held in Methodism. At the same time, the movement’s conviction that the grace of Christian perfection—or entire sanctification, or the Baptism of the Holy Ghost—was Biblical and was to be the normal expectation of every believer’s experience aroused a sense of evangelistic responsibility among its ardent advocates to spread their gospel of “Full Salvation” to Christians of every ecclesiological, theological and social stripe. The extensive Arminianization and Methodization of American religion prepared the field for a more ready acceptance of the holiness revivalist’s message among non-Methodist evangelicals than might otherwise have been possible.[2]

Because of its concerns for reform and renewal, for almost three generations most of the movement remained loyal to the churches in which the revival arose, resisting the separatist tendencies, which often accompany such renewal movements. A direct program or demand for the reformation of the accepted polity or orthodoxy of the churches was not part of the holiness advocates’ call for ethical and social reformation at that period. At the peak of the revival in 1875, it was a movement working wholly within the existing Methodist and non-Methodist Protestant churches in America, England, Europe, and their missions extensions around the world.

The National Holiness Association, the dominant agency of the revival, adamantly maintained its anti-separatist stance even in the face of the constantly increasing separatist pressures by thousands of newly acquired converts who had never joined any church. No one could be a member of one of the hundreds of county or state holiness associations, who did not maintain good standing within one of the existing denominations. The National Association’s leaders looked with dismay as Daniel Warner and other early “come-outers” called for separate organizations “on the holiness line” in the early l880s.[3] For three generations the prevailing vision had been to “Christianize” Christianity within whatever form or rubric it found a home.[4]

It was not until the end of the century that large numbers of Methodists together with lesser numbers of Baptists, Presbyterians and others reluctantly joined the earlier “come-outers.” They organized such holiness churches as The Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene, now the Church of the Nazarene, and the Pilgrim Holiness Church , now part of the Wesleyan Church . Even then, the historic Methodist influences on the movement remained strong through the involvement of the Free Methodist and the Wesleyan Methodist Churches , two smaller Methodist groups who were strongly committed to the revival. Many other “friends of holiness” walked the difficult path of continuing their allegiance to the holiness movement while remaining loyal to the older churches.

All of these factors helped to maintain among holiness adherents a sense of historical continuity with the traditional churches, even when more radical primitivist-restitutionist themes came to the fore as the revival approached the end of the century. This factor goes a long way in explaining why the holiness adherents tried to distinguish themselves so radically from their much more eschatologically oriented Pentecostal movement siblings.[5] The holiness movement generally had seen itself as a movement growing out of the development of the historical church; the Pentecostal movement came to regard itself as a de novo act of God.[6]

In its historical and theological development, therefore, it is easy, as well as legitimate, to identify a pervasive reformationist-traditionalist strain within the holiness tradition, one which seems to segregate it from the primitivism-restitutionism.


The Restorationist-Restitutionist Themes


But the initial reformationist-traditionalist orientation of the holiness movement is only part of the story. If we follow Richard Hughes’ contention that perfectionism and restitutionism are natural bedfellows,[7] we may make an even stronger argument for placing the holiness tradition within the primitivist-restitutionist family. The eclectic character of Wesley’s practical theology guaranteed that historians could not so easily catalog or put into a traditional ecclesiastical or theological pigeon-hole either his own early Methodism or later movements which looked to him as their mentor. If Wesley was an Anglican, he was also a Pietist out of Puritan heritage. The inscription on Wesley’s tombstone catches up a primitivist theme:


This great light arose

(By the singular Providence of God)

To enlighten THESE Nations,

And to revive, enforce, and defend

The Pure, Apostolical Doctrines and Practices of



In one of the few available formal analyses of Wesleyan primitivism, Luke Keefer identifies Wesley’s life and ministry more closely with the primitivist-restitutionist camp than with that of the Anglican high-church traditionalism which he often exhibited.[8] Keefer contends that the failure of Wesley’s experiment in Anglican (Non-Juror’s) ecclesiastical primitivism that he experienced in his ministry in Georgia, followed by his evangelical experience at Aldersgate in 1738, did not end his primitivism, as some have maintained. His contact with Moravian primitivism and his new understanding of salvation by faith merely turned his primitivist paradigm from ecclesiological to soteriological categories. He no longer addressed the nature of the church in formal terms, but rather in functional terms. Now, he defined Christianity in terms of mission; the world was his parish. He saw himself, an ordained Anglican priest, as a primitive episcopos who could rightfully ordain his ministers if the occasion demanded it, as it did for his American movement after the Revolutionary War. At the close of his life he believed that his Methodist societies were so close to the model of the primitive church that “the eschaton could not be long in coming.” Keefer concludes that, when Wesley’s followers also exhibited strong primitivist tendencies, “they were merely taking their cue from Wesley himself.”[9]

Given this jump-start of Wesleyan influence, primitivism showed up in various ways in the course of the tradition’s development. None of these were unique to the holiness tradition by any means, but the way in which primitivist tendencies clustered around the tradition’s central theme of Christian perfection may have been unique.


On Being A Bible Christian: Ethical Primitivism


The basic primitivism in the movement was the primitivism evinced in Wesley’s insistence that perfection in love in this life is an evangelical experience promised and even commanded in Scripture, taught in the Sermon on the Mount, and exhibited in the lives of the New Testament saints. Enabled by prevenient grace which, he believed, restores every person’s ability to receive the saving grace of the Second Adam, all Christians should seek for nothing less than the restoration of the fullness of God’s love in their hearts and freedom from the necessity to sin. By the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, one could love God with an undivided heart even though suffering all the limitations of life in a fallen body and in a world still under the curse of sin and the power of Satan.

The genius of the incipient American holiness movement was to promote this Wesleyan perfectionist theme within the context of the revivalism which constituted the preeminent feature of American Christianity in the nineteenth century.[10] The tradition’s perfectionist theme was not a new one among primitivists.[11] It was prominent in the Anabaptist ferment as well as in early Quakerism, but, in the holiness revival, it was being thrust as a challenge upon the whole church with new urgency in the revivalist call for faith and action “now.”[12]

Phoebe Palmer, the “mother” of the holiness tradition in America , declared that total consecration of self to God and entire sanctification by God were really at the heart of what it means to be a “Bible Christian,” a Christian as Christians were in the beginning. Her authority, she declared, was “not Wesley, not Finney, not Mahan, but the Bible, the Holy Bible.”[13] Her Biblical primitivism, fortified by the Scottish common-sense rationalism prevalent in American revivalism, led her to defend the legitimacy of lay and women’s ministry.[14]

Most significantly, she defined a new and shorter way to experience entire sanctification. She taught that if justified believers saw the promise of heart purity in the Bible, then, at the moment they placed themselves in faith and without reserve upon Christ, the Christian’s altar, they would be cleansed from all remaining inbred sin, enabled to love God and neighbor freely, and grow daily in the life of holiness. The believer was to claim this experience “by faith.” The command of God to be holy was also the promise of God to make one holy.[15]

This new emphasis on the crisis and moment of entire sanctification, challenged the older Wesleyan understanding which set Wesley’s own acceptance of a “second blessing” crisis within a much more extended process of growth and development.[16] The appeal to the Bible alone to defend the redefinition of Wesley’s basic doctrine of Christian Perfection marked a strongly primitivist turn within the American holiness tradition. In its most radical mode, it found expression in the “name it, claim it” teaching of some sectors of the contemporary Charismatic movement.[17]


Placing The Church “On The Altar”: Ecclesiastical Primitivism


A second significant expression of primitivism in the holiness revival’s development rose directly out of the revival’s widespread successes in the immediate post-Civil War period. Large numbers of converts, especially in the more rural mid-western United States , became restless under what they judged to be the heavy-handed Methodist control of the movement. The revival was being thwarted by sectarianism. This more radical, populist sector of the movement demanded that one’s sect be placed on the “altar” of consecration along with anything else which might fault the integrity of the believer’s total commitment to God.

Such a “consecration of the church” resulted, about 1880, in various proposals for the restoration of the true church by the creation of “New Testament Churches,” or “Churches of God” on “the holiness line.” Embracing these concepts in varying forms were Daniel Warner, primary pioneer of the Church of God movement (Anderson, Ind.),[18] John Brooks, founder of the New Testament Church of God, and James Washburn, founder of the Holiness Church.[19] They rallied believers into the first formal churches organized out of the revival. The following brief review of Brooks’ ecclesiology, as outlined in The Divine Church,[20] provides a precise and concise summary of such primitivism at work in the holiness tradition.

After his advocacy for the revival had ended his relationships with the Methodist Episcopal Church, John P. Brooks[21] took up the cause of “nosectism” or the “New Testament Church of God” concept as the answer to the “church question” among the revival’s converts.[22] Brooks contended that the movement being populated and shaped the revival could not be contained within Methodism. The revivals converts faced a situation not unlike that which Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, addressed: “To which church should the revival’s converts turn?” The same answer came to Brooks that came to Smith: “None of the above.”

Brooks introduced his “New Testament Church of God” argument on a note, which ties him, at least ideologically, to earlier primitivist traditions. The success of Luther’s and Calvin’s work, he contended, was limited to the restoration of the authority of the Bible and an evangelical understanding of justification by faith; but, the idea of the true church remained to be fleshed out in history.[23] Brook’s “New Testament Church” ideas had deep Old Testament roots. “The true Church resided in embryo in the fellowship of grace experienced by the redeemed and restored pair [Adam and Eve].[24] The unity envisaged for the New Testament Church was the unity of the Old Testament people of God under “one true God,” “one true law,” “one true worship,” etc.[25] Any conception of the Church which is contrary to unity is untrue and unnatural.

“The Church,” he contended further, “now exists under the dispensation of the Spirit . . . the dispensation of liberty.” This freedom creates worship characterized, not by “a formal subserviency with rites,” but rather by an “interior, heartfelt spirituality.” Worship is not to be shaped by all the old shadows of traditional ceremonies, but rather by the new spirituality nurtured by the Holy Spirit in each individual member. Most significantly, he said, “The Church does not come into existence to make its communicants spiritual, but rather, because they are spiritual . . .”[26] This did not mean, however, that all its members are entirely sanctified, for “one may be a true Christian who is not a perfect Christian.”[27]

Additional marks of the true church were its “diffusive and assimilative character.” It is “the Church of all humanity.” The sacraments in their simplicity teach the spirituality of the Church.[28] The “power of miracle” was intended to be “a permanent investiture.” In that the Church is the Continuity of the ministry of Christ, it is to be accompanied by the same phenomena of supernaturalism. We have seen little of the true Church “since the time of the early apostasy,” Brooks continues, therefore, as it reasserts itself, there also will be “a reassertion of the original gifts.”[29]

After defending each of these signs of the true church in some detail, he concludes that only with the restoration of such a church, a New Testament Church of God, untrammeled with human laws, ordinances and priesthoods, could the holiness revival continue to flourish and conserve its victories. The “spirit of holiness” opposes the “spirit of sect; therefore, “the holiness movement as such cannot be affiliated with the sects,” even holiness sects such as the Wesleyan Methodist and the Free Methodist churches. Although both of these ardently espoused and promoted the holiness cause, they still were part of the old system of Rome and the Reformation.[30]

By his primitivistic appeal, Brooks had turned the tables completely on the sects, which were accusing his radical movement of “come-outism.” His appeal to Biblical authority declared the existing sects to be the source of disunity and a hindrance to the restoration of true apostolic order, worship, and experience by their refusal to establish New Testament Churches “on the holiness line.”


The Church At Pentecost: Experiential Primitivism


If we adopt primitivistic categories used by Richard Hughes to explain the development of the concept in the American churches,[31] we may conclude the following. John Wesley’s appeal to the Bible, to the early church fathers, and to tradition, all strengthening his conviction that the doctrine of Christian perfection was the ultimate goal of salvation in Christ, was an expression of ethical primitivism. The appeals of Warner, Brooks, and Washburn to the New Testament Church, to free this doctrine from what they believed was its entrapment within the sectarian divisions of their day, constituted an ecclesiastical primitivism. The full expression of Hughes’ third category, experiential primitivism, may be found in the phenomenal growth of the importance of the Pentecost event to the movement’s self-understanding and vision as the century progressed.

John Wesley had explicated his doctrine of Christian Perfection within the classical Christological context in which he had found it in the Greek Fathers and in other traditional sources. But it was the more pneumatological-dispensational context within which John Fletcher, the first systematic theologian of Methodism, developed the doctrine that set the tone for the expectations and experience of the American holiness revival. Fletcher’s paradigm brought such themes as Pentecost, Baptism of the Spirit, and “new age of the Spirit” into play within Methodism and the Holiness and Pentecostal revivals. Throughout the nineteenth century, a flood of literature on the Holy Spirit, unparalleled in Christian history, reinforced this “Pentecostalism.”[32] The theme, fed in turn by the exceptional tide of revival being experienced in camp meetings and union meetings for the “Promotion of Holiness,” raised new expectations of divine intervention and leadership in human life through Holy Ghost power and miracles of direct divine intervention and guidance in human affairs. All of these set the stage for the doctrine of the Holy Spirit and its accompanying Pentecostal motifs to come to the fore in a measure not experienced in the church since Pentecost itself.

As the revival progressed, nothing less than the Pentecostal experience of purification of the heart and enduement with power for life and witness by the baptism with “the Holy Spirit and fire” marked the true apostolic church for many holiness adherents. “The remarkable days described in Acts 2 ” had not ended, but had “opened a glorious dispensation of the Spirit” and “were being repeated. . .”[33] Back to Pentecost was the cry heard in much of the preaching and literature of the revival. In gospel songs and hymns such as George Bennard’s “Pentecostal Fire is Falling” and Mrs. C. H. Morris’s “Another Pentecost,”[34] the Pentecost event became the lodestone of the movement’s expectations and experience.

It is not practical here to outline the persistency of the rising tide of these themes within the movement. Again, a concise summary of their application by a well-known representative leader, Seth Cook Rees,[35] Quaker holiness evangelist, will suffice.

In his treatise, The Ideal Pentecostal Church, Rees, like Brooks and Warner before him, rooted his arguments for the nature of the true church in the whole history of God’s relationship with humankind. “For at least six thousand years,” Rees wrote, “God has had his idea of what the Pentecostal Church should be,” and “God has not left us in the dark as to what his thought for the Church is.” Therefore, “If we can know God’s opinion . . . it is of no consequence to us what churches think or what creeds say. It makes no difference about the jargon of the schools. From the ‘Thus saith the Lord’ there can be no appeal.”[36] Whoever sought “God’s opinion” concerning the “ Ideal Pentecostal Church ” would find it “plainly enunciated” in the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles.[37] Here Rees discovered the marks of the true church and, as in Wesley’s soteriological primitivism, they were functional marks, not formal in nature.

Rees noted that the church that sought to model Pentecost would be a church of regenerate people who, like the disciples at the first Pentecost, had “forsaken their nets,” had “hugged reproach” and “followed Christ.” The day of Pentecost found them “blessing and praising God.” Nor were they afraid of “the emotional element in salvation,” but really “felt” joy and peace in the Holy Ghost.”[38] “The ideal Pentecostal church,” he continued, was to be “a clean church,” preaching “holiness through the experience of entire sanctification, wrought by the omnipotent energies of the Holy Ghost.” This, he declared, was the “‘baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire’ administered by Christ himself.” The “Pentecostal company” always consists of those “who have received their own Pentecost and live pure, holy lives.”[39] A “Pentecostal electrocution” has put an end to their self-seeking sectarianism, the kind of sectarianism which in his day, he observed, failed to sympathize with any movement, “however praiseworthy,” which was “not in full union” with itself “on all points.”[40]

The Pentecostal Church was a powerful church, whose strength did not lie in reliance on large memberships,[41] intellectual acumen (although it “places no premium on ignorance”), or great wealth. All these, Rees charged, characterized the popular churches of his time and were especially evident in their neglect of the poor. He concluded that the strength of the ideal Pentecostal Church was “the Holy Ghost himself,” coming into the church by coming into individual members and so “purifies, electrifies and endues her with power.”[42]

Another mark of the “Ideal Pentecostal Church” was that it is “a witnessing Church.” At no point is the force of the Pentecostal hermeneutic revealed more sharply than when this Indiana Quaker concluded that “never once did the fire-touched disciples think of sitting down and holding a silent meeting.” “Testimony was the ‘life’ of the church of Pentecost.”[43] Rees declared that interior religion without external witness accomplishes nothing. If Jesus, he observed, had delivered lectures on the Talmud instead of preaching the Sermon on the Mount, if he had talked hazily of evolution instead of exhorting to holiness, he would never have been put to death.[44]

Nowhere does the radical nature of the holiness movement’s Pentecostal primitivism stand out more distinctly, however, than in Rees’ contention that “The Ideal Pentecostal Church” was “without distinction as to the prominence given to the sexes.” He argued his case for the equality of men and women with the authority of the supporting account of the original Pentecost event: They “continued with one accord . . . with the women.” “Your daughters shall prophesy.” “Upon the handmaids . . . I will pour out my Spirit.” Women, as well as men, were to prophesy when “this holy baptism with the Spirit” was administered. Rees insisted that “originally, woman was not only man’s helpmeet but his equal . . . Sin cursed and degraded her . . . , but, by “the grace of God . . . woman is elevated, until at Pentecost she stands, a second Eve . . . sharing in the beatific blessings of the baptism with the Spirit.” He concluded that “No church that is acquainted with the Holy Ghost will object to the public ministry of women.”[45]

The church of Pentecost was also a church that was liberal with its finances. “Whenever Pentecostal fire has fallen upon men or churches,” Rees observed, “it has invariably burned the purse strings off.”[46] Whenever and wherever this “generosity-breeding flame” falls from the skies, such money raising schemes as “pew-rents, entertainments, bazaars, festivals, poverty suppers and all other devilish nonsense will disappear” from the churches.[47] “The Ideal Pentecostal Church ” was said to be a “demonstrative church.” The members are “filled with new wine.” Pentecostal endowments, he observed, were always “noised abroad.”[48] While, not encouraging “thunder out of an empty cloud,” Rees complained that “that freedom from excitement which is so complimented by the world, and which is so common in nearly all Protestant churches, will never bring a harvest of souls.”[49] This was an appeal to primitive authority in support of the more open pattern of worship which had once been fostered by the “shouting Methodists,” was later nurtured in the holiness camp meetings, and finally was institutionalized in the services and rituals of holiness and Pentecostal churches.

Such a Pentecostal Church would be “magnetic” and would “never want for crowds.” It would purify itself of all reliance on human talents and means and allow the Holy Spirit to preach the message.[50] The result would be a congregation of “healthy converts” who would continue “steadfast in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship.” The baptism of the Holy Ghost was their “safeguard against backsliding.”[51]




In summary, we go back to the beginning of our discussion and say that the holiness movement was a tradition torn between the two polarities of restitutionism and reform. Its strong attachment to the historical church did not prevent some of its adherents from taking up ecclesiastical primitivism with a commitment as thorough as that of the Mormons or Christians (Disciples) before them. On the other hand, an even stronger element within it took up an experiential primitivism ordered by the Pentecost event, a primitivism that turned some of its number to the even more radical experientialism of its Pentecostal sibling.

The larger portion of the movement, however, remained committed to its historical roots in Anglicanism, Wesleyanism, and even the Reformation, and created holiness churches, disclaiming any charges of “come-outism.” But it was a primitivist model of Pentecost, a Church of the Spirit, often explicated in the natural, ecclesiastical and spiritual freedom of the holiness camp meeting which shaped their doctrine, worship, and mission. The tradition represents a “via media” among the traditions we have under review. Today, the Pentecostalism dimension of this tradition has diminished, with the historic “main-line” inclinations coming more and more to the fore. Like many other contemporary churches, the holiness denominations struggle with the questions of self-identity and mission to a degree they have never experienced before. For those on the “via media,” it is difficult to escape a double mind, even as one seeks holiness

[1] William Cannon. The Theology of John Wesley (New York: Abingdon Press, 1956): George Cell. The Rediscovery of John Wesley (New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1935): Harald Lindstrom, Wesley and Sanctification (London: The Epworth Press, 1956); Maximin Piette, John Wesley in the Evolution of Protestantism (London: Sheed and Ward, 1938)—all follow this judgment.

[2] Timothy Smith. Revivalism and Social Reform in Mid-Nineteenth Century America (New York: Abingdon Press, 1957), 88–91.  

[3] Melvin Dieter, The Holiness Revival of the Nineteenth Century, Studies in Evangelicalism, No. 1 (Metuchen, N.J.: The Scarecrow Press, 1980), chap. 6. For a biographical recounting of Daniel Warner’s separatist views and actions, see Barry Callen, It’s God’s Church!: The Life and Legacy of Daniel Warner (Anderson, Ind.: Warner Press, 1995), chapters 56. Warner idealized not a “separate organization,” but a stance outside all “man-made organizations.”

[4] John Peters, Christian Perfection and American Methodism (New York: Abingdon Press, 1956) and Melvin Dieter, The Holiness Revival of the Nineteenth Century (1980), set the history and thought of the movement within Methodism and the broader revivalist context.

[5] Donald Dayton, The Theological Roots of Pentecostalism (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1987). The main burden of Dayton ’s book is that Pentecostalism is deeply rooted in the holiness revival and movement of the nineteenth century.

[6] T. Rennie Wharburton distinguishes between the two movements at this point in his “Holiness Religion: Anomaly of Sectarian Types,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion VIII (Spring 1969), 135, 137.

[7] Richard Hughes, “From Primitive Church to Civil Religion: The Millennial Odyssey of Alexander Campbell,” Journal for the American Academy of Religion 44 (1976), 92; the same, “Christian Primitivism as Perfectionism: From Anabaptists to Pentecostals,” in Stanley Burgess, ed., Reaching Beyond: Chapters in the History of Perfectionism (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 1986), 2 13–255.

[8] Luke Keefer, Jr, “John Wesley: Disciple of Early Christianity,” Wesleyan Theological Journal 19 (Spring 1984), 23–32. The paragraph which follows summarizes Keefer’s argument.

[9] Keefer, op. cit., 28.

[10] When leaders in other American revivalist traditions, such as Oberlin’s Charles Finney and Asa Mahan and Bowdoin’s Thomas Upham, joined the holiness crusade in the late 1830s, the American holiness movement was well on its way.

[11] Samuel Hill. Jr, “A Typology of American Restitutionism,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 44 (1976), 67. Hill’s definition of Anabaptist restitutionism as the emulation of “New Testament moral purity, even perfection, resulting in the establishment of pure communities of faith” is helpful to understanding the two stages of the holiness tradition described in this paper. In the first stage, a revival of New Testament perfectionism within the churches was the goal, but the second stage produced the more radical expression of creating “pure communities of faith”—holiness churches.

[12] As a result, groups such as a majority of American Quakers and large numbers of Baptists in New Brunswick, Canada, became openly Wesleyan. It caused others, such as New School Calvinists and Keswick’s evangelical Anglicans, who fought desperately to avoid the perfectionism of the revival, to find a place within their Biblical and theological understanding for a further crisis experience of God’s grace subsequent to the new birth and commonly related to a Spirit baptism.

[13] George Hughes, Fragrant Memories of the Tuesday Meeting and Guide to Holiness, and Their Fifty Years’ Work for Jesus (New York: Palmer and Hughes, 1886), 38.

[14] Phoebe Palmer, Promise of the Father, or a Neglected Specialty of the Last Days Addressed to the Clergy and Laity of All Christian Communities, by the Author of the Way of Holiness. . . . (Boston: Henry Degen, 1859).

[15] For an analysis of Palmer’s theological method and use of the Bible, see Charles Edward White, The Beauty of Holiness: Phoebe Palmer as Theologian, Revivalist, Feminist and Humanitarian (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Francis Asbury Press, 1986), 106–117.

[16] Some Methodist leaders felt that the revival’s claims to spiritual reality were based more on a common sense syllogism than on the witness of the Spirit which Wesley had so avidly emphasized. In spite of such qualms, Palmer’s “shorter way,” as it came to be known, became the central, though not the exclusive paradigm for preaching and testifying to the experience within the movement. See White, Beauty of Holiness, 130–143.

[17] Especially is this the case in the teachings of Charismatic movement leaders Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland.

[18] For Warner’s views and early actions, see the essay by Barry Callen elsewhere in this WTJ issue and his It’s God’s Church!: Life and Legacy of Daniel Warner (Anderson, Ind.: Warner Press, 1995).

[19] Washburn proposed that only the entirely sanctified constitute the membership of the true New Testament church. He believed that the truth came to him as “a Vision or Revelation direct from Jesus, by the Holy Spirit.” Mrs. J. E. Washburn, History and Reminiscences of the Holiness Church Work in Southern California and Arizona ( South Pasadena , Cal. : Record Press, n.d.), 58–60.

[20] John Brooks, The Divine Church : A Treatise on the Origin, Constitution, Order, and Ordinances of the Church: Being a Vindication of the New Testament Ecclesia, and an Exposure of the Anti-Scriptural Character of the Modern Church or Sect (Columbia, Mo.: Herald Publishing House, 1891).

[21] Brooks, one time conference secretary and influential pastor in the Central Illinois Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church became a central figure in this more radical sector of the budding holiness revival. See Carl Oblinger, “John P. Brooks: Separatist Tendencies in the Holiness Movement,” unpublished student paper, Northern Illinois University , 1968.

[22] Brooks, Divine Church, iii.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Ibid., 3.

[25] Ibid., 4–5.

[26] Ibid., 11.

[27] Ibid., 13.

[28] Ibid., 13–16.

[29] Ibid., 20–21.

[30] Ibid., 267–272.

[31] Richard Hughes, “Christian Primitivism as Perfectionism: From Anabaptists to Pentecostals,” in Stanley Burgess, ed., Reaching Beyond: Chapters in the History of Perfectionism (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 1986), 239–245.

[32] Martin Marty, The Irony of it All, 1893 -1919 . Vol. 1 of Modern American Religion (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986), 239

[33] Adam Wallace, A Modern Pentecost: Embracing a Record of the Sixteenth National Camp-Meeting for the Promotion of Holiness Held at Landisville, Pa., July 23rd to August 1st, 1873 (Philadelphia: Methodist Home Journal Publishing House, 1873), viii.

[34] R. E. McNeill , J. F. Knapp, M. G. Standley, eds., Praise of His Glory Songs (Cincinnati, Ohio: God’s Bible School and Revivalist, 1922), hymn #15 1; G. A. McLaughlin, J. M. and M. J. Harris, eds., Spiritual Songs (Chicago: The Christian Witness Co, 1908), hymn #16.

[35] Rees (1854–1933) was a Quaker pastor and evangelist who, with Martin Wells Knapp, a Methodist, founded the Apostolic Holiness Union in 1897. It later became the Pilgrim Holiness Church .

[36] Seth Rees, The Ideal Pentecostal Church (Cincinnati, Ohio: The Revivalist Office, 1897), 6.

[37] Ibid., 7.

[38] Ibid., 10.

[39] Ibid., 15.

[40] Ibid., 18.

[41] Ibid., 20–22.

[42] Ibid., 28.

[43] Ibid., 35.

[44] Ibid., 38–39.

[45] Ibid., 40–41

[46] Ibid., 40.

[47] Ibid., 45.

[48] Ibid., 47.

[49] Ibid., 49.

[50] Ibid., 51–59.

[51] Ibid., 60–64.