Phoebe Palmer


Posthumous Pilgrimage of Phoebe Palmer

by Charles Edwin Jones
Methodist History, 35:4 (July l997)


There are others who will receive far larger rewards of faith than myself. God has given me almost to walk by sight, so constant and large have been the manifest results of my service. There are others, equally faithful to the Lord, to whom He has not shown large effects from their work of faith and labor of love, and yet they have not flagged. Their crowns for faithful endurance will be above mine.


— Phoebe Palmer (1807—1874).1

In the rush and notoriety of life, the diminutive Phoebe Palmer cast an exceedIngly long shadow. In the stillness of death, she cast an even longer one. Her public power in her generation was great; her influence, when death had cloaked her with anonymity, far greater. The historians and feminists, who during the last four decades in ever-increasing numbers have been drawn to this modest woman, have uncovered factors behind many facets of her remarkable life and ministry. The purpose of the present inquiry is to uncover dynamics behind the even more striking impact of her ideas and methods on the Methodist-Holiness movement in the three-quarter of a century following her death. Her anonymity as the originator of popular beliefs and practices, it will be shown, exempted her from criticism as their author. It proved to be a major factor in their acceptance and utilization in the movement which she had helped bring to birth.

Phoebe Worrall Palmer was undoubtedly the most influential Methodist woman of her generation. For thirty-seven years she served as co-convener of the much-copied Tuesday Meeting for the Promotion of Holiness in New York and for more than a decade as managing editor of the extremely influential
Guide to Holiness2, — whose circulation during the years 1870 to 1873 equalled the most widely-rated Methodist papers. Both the meeting and the paper were destined to survive her by over a quarter century. She wrote eighteen volumes of popular theology, poetry, and biography and was credited with having led over 25,000 into the higher Christian life in the United States, Canada, and the British Isles. She never, however, had or sought official standing even as an exhorter, the designation she herself gave to her ministry. Eulogized at her death in 1874 by preeminent pulpit orators of the day R. Pearsall Smith (1827-1899)3, T. Dewitt Talmage (1832-1902)4, and Bishop Matthew Simpson (1811-1884)5 — she cast an immense shadow.

Soon, however, this shadow began to dissipate. In December 1901, the paper (by then called
Consecrated Life and Guide to Holiness) suspended publication. Upon the death in 1908 of Miles W. Palmer, her husband's brother and medical partner, the New York Tuesday Meeting disbanded. One by one her books went out of print. Possibly the last for nearly seven decades was an abridgment of The Way of Holiness issued by the Publishing House of the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene in 1912. With the disappearance of these tangible reminders, the name of the formulator of the "shorter way" to entire sanctification faded from the collective consciousness of the movement.

Though female disciples of Mrs. Palmer, Amanda Smith (1837-1915)
6 and Catherine Booth (1829-1890)7, occupied places in the Methodist-Holiness legend denied her, the disappearance of Phoebe Palmer's name from common discourse served rather to strengthen her hold on the movement she had helped shape. Several generations of Methodist-Holiness people, unconscious even of her existence, in fact came to maturity under her tutelage.

Her paper had ceased publication. Her Tuesday Meeting had disbanded. Her books had gone out of print. Both explication and criticism of her ideas were nonexistent. Except in an occasional testimony or as contributor of "The Cleansing Wave,”
8 a song universally used among them, the name of Phoebe Palmer had faded from the collective memory. How then, one might ask, could this Victorian woman exercise such power over the spiritual, ministerial, and material culture of the movement so long after her death? Simply, it could be answered, by reinventing a laicized form of Methodist ministry and by offering parents and children of the second and third generations of the movement a formula for assurance of entire sanctification.

This construct — the so-called Altar Covenant
9 — linked Scripture, sacred song, and physical setting into a representation of the way to full redemption. Worked out in Phoebe and Walter Palmer's own ministry, this unarticulated metaphor, used by both separatist Holiness folk and Methodist loyalists with whom they shared joyful fraternity, proved amenable to all situations faced by those striving to assist seekers after entire sanctification. Product of the New York Tuesday Meeting, the Altar Covenant was the source of most advice given by the saints in the after meeting of every Holiness service in which there were seekers at the rail.

The altar sanctifies the gift, the consecration formula based on it, was to be the centerpiece of the Holiness quest for entire sanctification. Its utilization in practically every altar service over many decades caused the core of Mrs. Palmer's teachings to become in fact a cornerstone of widely-held belief. Unlike the defeat of spiritual assurance implied by the Half-Way Covenant of New England Puritanism, the collage of proof texts, spiritual songs, and physical accouterments which made up this symbol of personal consecration pointed the seeker after entire sanctification to the altar of sacrifice, the anteroom to assurance in the higher Christian life.

Nowhere in the Holiness mind is Mrs. Palmer's impact more apparent than in its visualization of salvation. The centrality of the altar as physical object and as spiritual symbol could hardly have been lost on the vast majority of American Methodist hearers. Stress on the altar of the heart sprang quite naturally from the material culture of the revivalistic spirituality in which they, like she, had been nurtured. The practice of kneeling for prayer
10 and for communion11, an inheritance from Anglicanism, was an integral part of Methodist worship. Relation of religious experiences was expected in every class meeting and every prayer meeting, and use of biblical metaphors, such as the Altar of Sacrifice and the Mercy Seat, were the stock in trade of common religious discourse. Phoebe Palmer required no illustrator.

Presentation of the new theology of self-sacrifice in such a context was destined to make the altar — represented by the altar rail rather than the communion table — the focal point of Holiness worship
12, causing proponents of her Altar Covenant to regard as essential this accouterment of the 19th-century Methodist chapel both as consecrated object and as sacred symbol. It was to be for the church at prayer the place where the physical and spiritual merged.13 Placed directly in front of the pulpit, the altar was the most revered article of furniture in tabernacle, chapel, and mission hall. Over many decades it was to stand both as a physical and symbolic representation of the Wesleyan way of salvation.14 The scores of thousands who, during these years, struggled to surrender all and to die to self and sin while kneeling before it, gave unconscious witness to the immensity of the shadow cast by this remarkable woman.

The genius of Mrs. Palmer's message and methodology was that it spoke to the dilemma faced by many in the second and third generations who believed themselves incapable of realizing in the same manner as their parents the witness of the Holy Spirit to having been made perfect in love.

Phoebe Palmer's father was a convert of John Wesley. From infancy she had been nurtured in Wesleyanism and longed for the purity and power she had seen manifested in her parents and others. With them she believed that entire sanctification was attainable in this life and that it was the will of God, even her sanctification.
15 She had consecrated to the Lord her all. She had not, however, received the witness of the Spirit that the work indeed was done. Devoid of the feeling she felt necessary, Phoebe wished she had been born in Old Testament times.

O had I lived in that day, how gladly would I have parted with every thing, however costly, and have purchased the best possible offering. All I would have to do, would be to lay it upon the altar, and know that it was accepted.16


Assurance was to come in the wake of personal tragedy: the death of a child in a fire caused by the carelessness and incompetence of a household servant. In her grief she did not chastise the servant who had added oil to an already lighted lamp which in turn set fire to the netting on the baby's crib. Nor did she decide no longer to entrust the care of her children to others.17 Instead, she concluded that she had made idols of her husband and children, causing them in fact to become a barrier between her and God's perfect will for her. The way to peace, she believed, came rather in surrender. Discovery on that 'day of days, July 26, 1837, that, God accepted all she brought Him proved to be the turning point. She then and there came to believe that the only witness one needed was consciousness of having made a complete consecration to God of all that was near and dear and willingness to testify on the basis of naked faith in the promises of Scripture that the work of sanctification was complete. The conclusion that the altar sanctifies the gift marked the point of resolution in her long struggle for assurance of entire sanctification. It was to become for her (and for her followers) a talisman of certainty. An out-of-context use of Matthew 23:19 (AV)18, the phrase: "The altar sanctifies the gift," was to 'become so embedded in the minds of those raised in the Holiness movement as to appear to be the very heart of biblical teaching on consecration. This conviction, so painfully gained, was to pervade Holiness teaching for more than a century.19

During the decades of anonymity which were to follow the formulator's death in 1874, this confession was destined to be the point of unmistakable confirmation for multitudes of seekers after the second blessing. For them, it was the gate of certainty at the end of the "shorter way" to entire sanctification.

Such would be the case not only for children of the first waves of converts of evangelists sympathetic to the National Camp Meeting Association for the Promotion of Holiness
20 — an agency sharing Phoebe Palmer's insight which was formed during the last decade of her life — but also for constituents of independent bodies, such as the Church of the Nazarene21 and the Pilgrim Holiness Church22, which were to spring from it.

At issue was transmission of the faith, especially to one's children. Phoebe Palmer herself exemplifies the dilemma of the second generation. If one projects 1785 (the death of John Fletcher, Wesley's designated successor and Methodism's greatest theologian) as the high point of the Wesleyan movement and 1885 (date of the General [or National] Holiness Assembly, Chicago, the first comprehensive meeting of the movement in North America) as the high point of the National Holiness movement, the second Methodist generation could be assumed to have reached maturity in the decade centering in 1835 and the second Holiness generation in the decade centering in 1935. The symbolism of Mrs. Palmer's discovery as developed in her ministry as a member of the second American Methodist generation was to be vigorously applied a century later in the ministry of her followers in the first and second generations of the National Holiness movement. The culture implicit in her formula and in her ministry was to have a profound impact on these her unconscious disciples, both male and female, throughout the period.

Phoebe Palmer lived in an era of rapid change in American Methodism. She worked out her altar theology within the context of Methodism, but outside its official framework, adopting and adapting traditional structures and practices of the church to wider purposes. Even as with her sister, Sarah Lankford (1806-1896), she convened the trans-denominational Tuesday Meeting in her home
23, the self-disciplining Methodist class meeting24 was, in large urban places, being supplanted by a mid-week meeting of the local Methodist society as a whole. In cities where station appointments rather than circuits were the rule, preachers were reluctant to delegate pastoral functions to class leaders and the role of the class leader as facilitator of self-examination among the faithful was gradually being phased out. This trend was to accelerate as the time limit on appointments was extended25, creating a vacuum in Methodist connectionalism into which Palmer's establishmentarian trans-denominationalism moved with alacrity.

Loss of the class meeting as an instrument of collective reflection — admission was limited to those intent on fleeing the wrath to come and committed to keeping the General Rules — was to be the source of widespread lament for more than a century. In its primitive form, the class meeting was never to be replaced. Its disappearance struck the death knell among Methodists to intimate small-group discourse ignorant of differences in education, class, and wealth.

The focus of the quarterly conference of the Methodist circuit had for decades been shifting from evangelism to institutional housekeeping
26. Its function of revival and outreach was fast being taken up by the quasi-independent Methodist camp meeting. As the Palmers — Walter (1804-1883) joined his wife after retiring from a lucrative homeopathic medical practice in 185927 — emerged as popular camp meeting workers, it is not surprising that they should incorporate its usages into their other ministry as well.

The situation within the church and personal desires and needs were intertwined. Herself a class leader, Phoebe Palmer was one of a growing number of very prosperous Methodists
28 with ties to like-minded and similarly-situated believers both inside and outside the denominational circle. Reluctant to bare their souls to servants and others less fortunate than they who might also be Methodists, they quite unconsciously adapted traditional Wesleyan practices to meet contemporary churchly as well as trans-denominational and status needs.

The New York Tuesday Meeting provided the bridge between an episcopal Methodism in the process of jettisoning time-honored practices, and the laicized MethodIsm of the new movement in the process of transforming them. Unbeknown to either, these changes would have the effect of transforming the pattern of ministry from one dependent on appointment by the bishop in conference to one dependent on the personal charisma of the individual himself or herself.

Official Methodism was a highly structured hierarchical system.
29 The activity which engrossed Phoebe Palmer and her husband required freedom.30 The Palmers, who were independently wealthy, went wherever invited by the preacher-in-charge and refused to accept honorariums. He preached and she exhorted and gave the altar call. Both functioned without license. Ordination in the Methodist system (had it been possible and desired} would have led to full membership in the conference and would have prevented ministry as they knew it. Such a status would have required them to go wherever and whenever the bishop in conference sent them and to move frequently. In addition, it would have prevented extensive foreign travel, independent publishing ventures, and most trans-denominational activity. In short their ministry, as we know it, would have been nullified.

Although neither Dr. and Mrs. Palmer nor their immediate followers desired or intended to transform the ministry, their activities created a model for such renovation. Unwittingly, it was within the parameters set by them, but without the status, wealth, and connectedness they enjoyed, that a new type of Methodist would learn through hardship and acrimony the perils which beset those choosing such a course.
31

It was within such a framework that turn-of-the-century Methodist-­Holiness people were to operate.
32 And it was under their auspices that the altar service was to subsume the catechetical function of the class meeting. The questions asked, advice given, and songs sung bound together seeker and worker in a symbiotic quest for holiness which at its best had characterized the class meeting itself. Unspoken convention forbade the Holiness pastor, whose principal duty was to pray with and for the people, ever to leave an altar service, direction of which had the effect of making him or her similar in many respects to the class leader of early Methodism.

This transition had not come easily. Mrs. Palmer's altar theology met a mixed response from Methodist critics including the noted editor Nathan Bangs and others of her dearest friends and allies who seem to have sensed in her concept of "naked faith" an implicit denial both of prevenient grace
33 and the witness of the Spirit. As would be true of later Holiness critics of fundamentalist formulas, to them her "shorter way" to entire sanctification appeared to be based on something like: On the basis of the promises of Scripture believe and testify that you have been filled with the Holy Spirit and you will indeed be.34 However meritorious the criticism on technical grounds, the validity of the altar theology depended not on the arguments of theologues, whom she regarded as hair-splitters, but on the discovery of its workability by the rank-and-file in the church. Biblical truth was exceedingly simple. It was embedded, she thought, in the essence of Methodist tradition and practice.

Possessing a mind-set close to the central consensus of the American church, Mrs. Palmer from the beginning couched the message in language equating the biblical times with the mid-19th century. She portrayed ritual sacrifice in the Old Testament as an analogue of the believer's consecration and the altar in the time of the patriarchs as an analogue of the Methodist altar. Although Palmer and her followers would undoubtedly have agreed with Bishop Simpson's statement that use of the word altar in this way had “no sacrificial sense”
35, the unmistakable implication of the altar theology was that, in a metaphorical sense, it in fact did. That the Palmers insisted, prior to their engagement there, that the chancel area of the John Street Wesleyan Chapel in Glasgow be remodeled to provide for such an altar, is evidence that she understood this connection. It placed in relief the complex interrelation of theology and setting necessary for effective presentation of her message. The uses made of the Methodist altar by unknowing Holiness followers of Phoebe Palmer in the 20th century demonstrate both the power of doctrinal metaphor and of personal anonymity in the transmission of spiritual tradition.

The theology of Phoebe Palmer, the core teaching of churches which in the new century emerged from the National Holiness Camp Meeting movement, was perpetuated by a succession of converts. Converts of the Tuesday Meeting and its organizational offspring peopled and led the national and state Holiness associations, whose converts and constituents in turn peopled and led the new churches. Leaders of these groups, which derived their traditions from Methodism and the camp meeting, passed on with little change to their people ideas and arrangements already familiar to them.

Generations of seekers after assurance of entire sanctification might just as well have received instruction from Phoebe Palmer herself. The experience in 1908 of Arkansas teenager Altha Westmoreland (Moore) is representative. She recalled:

Rev. [James Blaine] Chapman had spoken on the "eleven days' journey from the Red Sea to Kadesh-barnea where the Israelites should have crossed over into the Canaan land." Well, I went to the altar. I did everything they told me to do — prayed, looked up, told the Lord I was all given up, but I didn't settle it that night. I told myself I would fast and pray, not eat another bite until I was sanctified.

Aunt Effie [Jobe] was one of the cooks, but was ill; so I had to cook in her place. But I did not eat a bite all day Saturday. I would go out into the woods and pray, go back, do my work, and then pray some more.

That night at the altar, Miss Meda Burnapp (she and her sister were the Free Methodist pastors) was praying with and instructing me.

She quoted, "If we walk in the light... the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
36 She asked me if I was walking in all the light.

I said, "Yes."

"What does the Bible say?"

I answered, "The blood cleanseth."

"Do you believe it?"

"Yes."

"All right, you are on the altar?"

"Yes."

"The altar sanctifies the gift."

"Yes."

"Well, what about it?"

"Well, I'm sanctified."

Miss Burnapp started the song:
“The Blood, the Blood is all my plea.
Hallelujah, for it cleanseth me.”

I arose and sang it and was peaceful."
37


The theology of the Altar Covenant and the methodology of the camp meeting pervaded the movement. The preaching, buildings, furnishings, music, and government of the Holiness churches all bore marks of these origins. A forum more suitable both for perpetuation of the Methodist-Holiness camp meeting tradition and for evangelization of the already convinced could scarcely have been imagined. Phoebe Palmer had at the end of a long struggle made her discovery of the heart of her father's faith. To whom then was the subliminal message of her "shorter way" to entire sanctification more likely to appeal than to the children and grandchildren of converts of the National Holiness camp meetings? Fearful that the precious secret they themselves had found would be lost to the church, it was to the second and third generations of the movement that the elders now appealed:

You have longed for sweet peace, and for faith to increase,
And have earnestly, fervently prayed;
But you cannot have rest, or be perfectly blest,
Until all on the altar is laid.

Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
Your heart, does the Spirit control?
You can only be blest and have peace and sweet rest,
As you yield Him your body and soul,”
38

The facelessness of the originator of the altar theology was not to last. Rediscovered in the 1950s by historians John Leland Peters and Timothy Lawrence Smith, themselves products of her tutelage, Phoebe Palmer's writings and work were to attract much attention among scholars and feminists during the following decades when for some evangelical women she became something of a professional icon.

The exact opposite, however, was to be the fate of her silent influence. Inadvertently, the renewed scholarly interest reopened questions posed a century earlier concerning Palmer's adequacy as a Wesleyan theologian. Ironically, in notoriety the apostle of self-abasement lost hold on the movement which posthumously her insights had shaped. In following decades, self-sacrifice and rejection of fashion (which by precept and example had been the stock in trade of the older generations) were fast being supplanted by self-fulfillment and the trappings of material prosperity. Both the prayer meeting, which embodied the
koinonia or fellowship element, and the altar service, which embodied the catechetical and self-critical elements of the Methodist class meeting, seemed destined soon to be abandoned.

Self-fulfillment now reigned as the defining motif. New spokespersons listened to contemporary voices. Academic and process theologians had caught the collective ear. Their siren voices now invited the sons and daughters away from the altar of sacrifice in much the same tone as Mrs. Palmer's had once invited their fathers and mothers in the gospel of it.




FOOTNOTES


1. Quoted in letter of R. Pearsall Smith to Walter Palmer, Mar. 3, 1875. Published in Guide to Holiness, 67 (1875), 144. See Charles Edward White, The Beauty of Holiness: Phoebe Palmer as Theologian, Revivalist, Feminist, and Humanitarian (Grand Rapids, MI: Francis Asbury Press, c1986), 236.

2. See Harold E. Raser,
Phoebe Palmer: Her Life and Thought (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, c1987), 71-73, 332 [note 183]; White, The Beauty of Holiness, 92-94.

3. White, 235 — 236.

4. John Leland Peters,
Christian Perfection and American Methodism (New York: Abingdon Press, 1956), 111.

5. Simpson, Matthew, ed.
Cyclopaedia of Methodism (Philadelphia: Everts & Stewart, 1878, c1876), 691-692.

6. Amanda Smith, a former slave, was to succeed in making her reactions to the vicissitudes of life as a washerwoman into a shibboleth of the sanctified ideal of the common life. This exceedingly popular African American evangelist, who charmed American and British revival, camp meeting, and convention audiences with her unaffected directness and simplicity, served for extended periods as a self-supporting missionary in Bishop William Taylor's work in India and Africa, and as superintendent of the orphanage and industrial school bearing her name in Harvey, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. See
An Autobiography: the Story of the Lord's Dealings with Mrs. Amanda Smith, the Colored Evangelist; Containing an Account of her Life Work of Faith, and Her Travels in America, England, Ireland, Scotland, India and Africa, as an independent Missionary (Chicago: Meyer & Brother, 1893).

7. During the 1859 meeting of the Palmers in Newcastle, an attack on Mrs. Palmer by A. A. Rees, a Methodist minister, elicited a published reply by the (until then) reticent wife of William Booth. The resulting 23-page tract,
Female Ministry; or, Woman's Right to Preach the Gospel (London: Morgan Chase, 1859), launched the long and distinguished career of the "mother" of the Salvation Army as a polemicist.

8. With words by Mrs. Palmer and music by her daughter, Mrs. J. F. Knapp, "The Cleansing Wave" appeared in Wesleyan Methodist, Free Methodist, and Pilgrim Holiness hymnbooks into the 1960s. It has been carried in those published by the Church of the Nazarene from the beginning.
Sing to the Lord, issued in 1993, included it.

9. See "The Altar Covenant" in Thomas C. Oden, ed.
Phoebe Palmer: Selected Writings (New York: Paulist Press, C1988), 107-130.

10. At the altar rail or facing one's own pew (rather than using a kneeler as had the Anglican forebears).

11. At the altar rail.

12. Sometimes called the mourner's bench or penitent form. In the early nineteenth century, there had been a distinction between mourner's bench, which was reserved for mourners (e.g., penitents) and the altar, the former simply being a bench or front pew designated as a place where seekers might either sit or kneel to pray. Before the end of the century, however, the altar in common parlance denoted the rail (often indistinguishable from a bench) where seekers knelt in response to the "altar call." See "Mourners" in Simpson,
Cyclopaedia of Methodism, 663-634; and Carl Bangs, Phineas F. Bresee: His Life in Methodism, the Holiness Movement, and the Church of the Nazarene (Kansas City, Mo.: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, c1995), 31, 236. The Salvation Army preferred penitent form which indicated a bench, sometimes built into the platform in front of the pulpit stand. At least in some places, this area, cordoned off during the service, was opened only at the time of the invitation.

13. An exemplar of this attitude is the First Church of the Nazarene of Kansas City. In 1936, when the congregation moved from the former Beacon Hill Congregational Church, a building it had occupied for twenty-two years, to the former Emmanuel Presbyterian Church, it took the altar rail with it as a reminder of Shekinah glory at the former location. Although when relocating again in 1955 the possibility was discussed, the church board decided against again moving the "Beacon Hill" altar. The consensus seemed to be that to do so would be to place too much significance on a physical object. Through three relocations, the congregation has retained possession of the "Beacon Hill" pulpit stand. During most of the time, however, it has not been used for its original purpose.

14. The impasse reported in Bishop Marston's account of the debate in the I955 General Conference of the Free Methodist Church over introduction of the divided chancel (which visually would undermine the Palmerian theology of the altar) gives eloquent, if oblique, witness to the depth of general commitment to the older arrangement. For context see Leslie R. Marston,
From Age to Age a Living Witness: a Historical Interpretation of Free Methodism's First Century (Winona Lake, In.: Light and Life Press, c1960), 348-351, 355-358.

15. 1 Thess. 4:3a (AV): "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification."

16. White
The Beauty of Holiness, 3.

17. White, 7-8.

18. Context: Matt. 23: l7-20 (AV). Jesus said: "Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon."

19. See Smith,
Revivalism and Social Reform in Mid-Nineteenth-Century America (New York: Abingdon Press, 1957), 125-126; and White, The Beauty of Holiness, 10-26.

20. See Charles Edwin Jones,
Perfectionist Persuasion: the Holiness Movement and American Methodism, 1867-1936 (Metuchen, N J.: Scarecrow Press, 1974); and Melvin Easterday Dieter, The Holiness Revival of the Nineteenth Century (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1980).

21. See Timothy L. Smith,
Called Unto Holiness: the Story of the Nazarenes: the Formative Years (Kansas City, Mo.: Nazarene Publishing House, l962).

22. See Paul Westphal Thomas and Paul William Thomas,
The Days of Our Pilgrimage: the History of the Pilgrim Holiness Church (Marion, In.: Wesley Press, 1976).

23. For commentary on the Tuesday Meeting and the controversy surrounding Phoebe Palmer's altar theology see Smith,
Revivalism and Social Reform in Mid-nineteenth-Century America, 122-129.

24. For an analysis of the purpose and structure of the class meeting see "Discipline and the Rhetoric of Separation" in A. Gregory Schneider,
The Way of the Cross Leads Home: the Domestication of American Methodism (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, c l 993), 78-91.

25. The time limit on appointments was extended several times in the nineteenth century. In the Methodist Episcopal Church it was set at two years in 1836, at three years in 1866, and at five years in 1888. In the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, it was extended to four years in 1866.

26. For an analysis of the replacement of' the "protracted meeting" component of the quarterly meeting by the camp meeting see Russell E. Richey, Early American Methodism (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, c1991) 30 32.

27. White,
The Beauty of Holiness, 43.

28. White, 153-154.

29. Nineteenth-century American Methodism was an immensely popular movement. A democracy, however, it was not. Excluded from denominational councils, the laity was, if anything, losing ground. Nathan O. Hatch's
The Democratization of American Christianity (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989), which portrays Methodism as a corporate expression of the populist strand in the national psyche, ignores the fact that the governmental structure chosen by the overwhelming majority of the followers of John Wesley in the United States was (and is) in theory and fact episcopal.

30. In 1901 Mrs. Yates, a member of the Church of the Nazarene in Los Angeles, said that group reminded her of the Primitive Methodists with whom she had been affiliated in England. See Bangs, Phineas F. Bresee, 225.

31. Publication of independent Holiness papers was a particularly thorny problem. In the Central Illinois Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, for example, of six ministers prominent in the Holiness movement: M. L. Haney (1825-1922), Hardin WalIIace (1818 -1895), J. P. Brooks (1826-1915), L B. Kent (1830-1911), W B. M. Colt (1833-1899), and C. W. Sherman, all but Wallace served at one time as editor. Of the six only Haney escaped being target of disciplinary charges. See Wilson T. Hogue,
History of the Free Methodist Church of North America (Chicago: Free Methodist Publishing House, c1915), 2:105.

32. For accounts by participants of how the system operated in the South and Southwest see
Pioneer Days of the Holiness Movement in the Southwest (Kansas City, Mo.: Pentecostal Nazarene Publishing House, 1919; and From the Prairie Schooner to a City Flat (Brooklyn, N.Y., 1926), by C. B. Jernigan; and Life and Work of Mary Lee Cagle: an Autobiography (Kansas City, Mo.: Nazarene Publishing House, 1928). For analysis of the evangelistic careers of Mary Lee (Wasson) Harris Cagle and John Lakin Brasher see: Robert Stanley Ingersol, "The Burden of Dissent: Mary Lee Cagle and the Southern Holiness Movement" (Thesis [Ph.D.], Duke University, 1989); and John Lawrence Brasher, "Standing between the Living and the Dead: John Lakin Brasher, Holiness Preacher" (Thesis [Ph.D.], Duke University, 1986). The latter was published as The Sanctified South: John Lakin Brasher and the Holiness Movement (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994).

33. The unmerited favor of God which precedes and makes possible human response.

34. For an analysis of the controversy and its aftermath see Smith,
Revivalism and Social Reform in Mid-Nineteenth-Century America, 125-129.

35. See Simpson,
Cyclopaedia of Methodism, 30. Bishop Simpson said, "In Methodist churches, as the communicants kneel around a railing which partially incloses the pulpit, it is sometimes termed the altar, and in the services persons are invited to kneel at the altar of prayer. When employed in this sense it has no reference to any sacrificial offering, but simply expresses the presentation of the individual in a special service of supplication and prayer."

36. 1 John 1:7 (AV).

37. Mrs. J. E. Moore,
The Lord's Leadings (Kansas City, Mo.: Beacon Hill Press, 1949), 25-26.

38. Copyright 1905. Words and music by Elisha Albright Hoffman (1839-1929), a minister of the Evangelical Association.