It is well known that the Holiness movement preceded the Pentecostal outpouring of 1906. The American Holiness Movement began with the ministry Charles Finney, revising the Wesleyan doctrine of sanctification. This movement spread to Britain in the 1840s and 1850s via the Methodist evangelist James Caughey, Charles Finney and his predecessor as President of Oberlin College, Asa Mahan.
In the 1850s and 1860s Dr. Walter Palmer and his wife Phoebe Palmer of New York City went to England to promote similar teachings. During their time in England many people experienced true conversion and many more who were already converted believed that they had received entire sanctification. Robert and Hannah Smith also propagated the holiness message in UK.
In the 1870s William Boardman, author of The Higher Christian Life, began his own evangelistic campaign in England, bringing with him Robert Pearsall Smith and his wife, Hannah Whitall Smith, (author of The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life) to help spread the holiness message.
Through William Haslam introduced Robert Pearsall Smith to some Anglican clergymen in the London area and the first Higher Life meetings took place from July 17–23, 1874, at the Broadlands estate of Lord and Lady Mount Temple.
A convention for the promotion of holiness was held at Brighton from May 29-June 7, 1875, reported in the very scarce book.'Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. The prominent American evangelist Dwight L. Moody told his London audiences that the Brighton meeting was to be a very important one. About eight thousand people attended it. Asa Mahan gave a series of talks at Brighton on the baptism in the Holy Spirit as an essential experience distinct from conversion, and essential for service. T. D. Harford-Battersby attended this convention and made arrangements to have one in his parish in Keswick, where he organized and led the first Keswick Convention in 1875. Over four hundred people met under the banner of “All One in Christ Jesus.” British speakers included Anglicans, such as the J. W. Webb-Peploe, Evan H. Hopkins, and Handley Moule, as well as Frederick Brotherton Meyer, a Baptist, and Robert Wilson, a Friend. An annual convention has met in Keswick ever since and has had worldwide influence on Christianity.
A further convention was held in Manchester in 1891 simply called 'The Holiness Convention' including the themes: Holiness-Its Scriptural Basis, The Need Of Holiness, Consecration And Faith, The Joy Of Obedience, The Baptism With The Holy Ghost, Fruit-Bearing And Service, Growth In Grace, Full Salvation.
All this was, in the Revival Librarian's view, God's preparation for Pentecost.
We will endeavour to get all these works available for Revival Library readers. At the moment we have The Brighton Convention report and the Manchester Holiness Convention report. The Higher Life will follow soon.
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