Seeker Letters To T. B. Barratt From Azusa Street

Seeker  Letters To T. B. Barratt From Azusa Street

Click to join the conversation with over 500,000 Pentecostal believers and scholars

Click to get our FREE MOBILE APP and stay connected


159 Letters Spiritual Advice to a Seeker: to T. B. Barratt from Azusa Street, 1906 David Bundy* Thomas Ball Barratt has long been known as “the apostle of the Pentecostal Movement in Europe.”I It is also well known that he accepted the Pentecostal understanding of Christianity while in New York City and that he did not go to Azusa Street until 1928, a visit which was less than pleasant.2 Barratt heard of the Pentecostal mes- sage after taking refuge at the New York Christian Alliance Mission- ary Home of A. B. Simpson after his efforts to raise money for the City Mission in Christiania (Oslo) came to naught. His fund raising difficulties arose from a misunderstanding with the Methodist Mission Board. He had come to the U.S.A. at the invitation of the Methodist bishops and had been led to believe that the Mission Board, on their instruction, would assist him in raising funds for the Methodist Central logical Seminary *David Bundy is Associate Professor of Church History at Christian Theo- in Indianapolis, IN 60637. 1 Nils Bloch-Hoell, The Pentecostal Movement; Its Origin, Development, and Dis- tinctive Character (Oslo: Universitetsforiaget, 1964), 75. This book is a partial trans- , lation of the Norwegian original: idem, Pinsebevegelsen. En undersoketse av pinsebevegelsens tilblivelse, utvikling og saerpreg med saerlig henblikk pi sens bevegel- utformning i Norge (Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1956), 267 (with a different nuance). The historiography of Norwegian Pentecostalism and of Barratt’s life and influence is still in its initial stages. Major efforts, of Barratt varying scholarly value include: Solvcig Lange, Et Nerrens sendebud (Oslo: Filadelfiaforlaget, 1962); idem.. “Barratt, Thomas Ball,” Kristen sang og musikk (1(1968), 183-186; Martin Ski, T. B. Barrait-dopt i And og Ild (Oslo: Filadelfiaforlaget, 1979); idem, Fram til unkristen- dommen. Pinsevekkelsen gjennon 50 dr (Oslo: Filadelfiaforlaget, 1956), I, passim; idem, “Barratt, Thomas Ball” Norsk misjonsleksikon 1(1965), cols. 141-142; T. B. Barratt om hans liv och verk en minnesbok red. Lewi Pethrus (Stockholm: Forlaget Filadelfia, 1940); and, Arthur Sundstedt, Pingstvackelsen–dess uppkomst och forsta 1; Stockholm: Normans Forlag, 1969). Non Scan- dinavian analyses have been less complete, including Donald Gee, The Pentecostal utvecklingsskede (Pingstvackelsen, Movement. A Short flistory and Interpretation for British Readers (London: Elim House, 1941); Leonhard Steiner, Mit folgenden Zeichen. Eine der Publishing Mission für das volle Darstellung Pfingstbewegung (Basel: Verlag Evangelium, 1954); Frodsham, With Signs Following: The Story of the Pentecostal Revival in the Twentieth Century (Springficld: Assemblies of God Publishing House, 1928). Stanley 2Barratt did not discuss the 1928 experience, but a letter from I. May Throop to T. B. Barratt, 11 July 1928, University of Oslo Archives, T. B. Barratt Etterlatte Papirer, Dagboker XIX, 46, comments [italics and punctuation hers], “… I was grieved over the way lers for two you were received at Azusa St.-you know they are great stick- works of grace while we believe in many! And instead of its giving them the sweet spirit of Jesus, it is contrarywise. Too bad!…” ” 1 160 Mission in Christiania (Oslo) of which he was the director.3 Instead of helping, the Mission Board actively hindered his efforts. The result was that he returned to Oslo, not with funds, but with the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” Pentecostal style. Within a few months he was instru- mental in the beginnings of Pentecostal churches throughout Europe and India.4 Crucial to this transformation from disenchanted and desperate vic- tim of power plays between the Methodist Bishops and the Methodist Mission Board to founder of European Pentecostalism, were a series of letters written to Barratt while he was in New York, penniless but forbidden to return to Norway by the Methodist bishops. It was in this context that Barratt had learned of the revival at Azusa Street from the first fascicle of The Apostolic Faith published in early September 1906. He wrote to Azusa Street apparently asking for more informa- tion and spiritual advice. He received a letter from I. May Throop5 dated 28 September 1906. His reply was answered by Glenn A. Cook6 on 8 October 1906. Cook wrote two additional letters to Barratt in October and November, before Clara E. Lum and B. H. Irwin? took up the pen. Thus Barratt received, between 28 September and 28 Novem- ber 1906, five letters containing spiritual advice from the Azusa Street Mission and one from Irwin who was requested to write from Salem, Oregon, by the Azusa Street leadership. The letter from I. May Throop was published in English, as we shall see below, as well as in Nor- wegian, Swedish and Danish as were selected paragraphs from two of the letters of George Cook. The others have not been previously made available, to my knowledge, in English. Letter writing was a key component of the Pentecostal revival at the Azusa Street Mission. The bulk of the contents of The Apostolic Faith were garnered from that vast correspondence. The ministry of several individuals was to respond to inquiries from throughout the world. 3D. Bundy, “T. B. Barratt’s Christiania (Oslo) City Mission: A Study in the Inter- cultural Adaptation of American and British Voluntary Association Structures,” Crossing Borders: Conference on Pentecostal and Charismatic Research in 1991 Europe 3rdL6ih July (Kappel, Switzerland: n.p., 1991 ), 1-15. 4The relationship with the Methodist Episcopal Mission Board is discussed in detail in, D. Bundy, “T. B. Barratt: The Methodist Years,” to appear in EPTA Bulletin. 51 have found no prosopographical information about Throop. She certainly played a significant role at the Azusa Street Mission by answering from correspondence inquirers. She maintained contact with Barratt throughout his life and a number of her letters are preserved in his personal papers. 6R. M. Riss, “Cook, Glcnn A.” Dictionary of the Pentecostal and Charisimatic Movements (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1988), 224-225. 77 C. M. Robeck, Jr. “Lum, Clara E.” Dictionary of the Pentecostal and Charis- matic Movements (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1988), 561; and H. V. Synan, “Irwin, Benjamin Hardin,” Dictionary of the Pentecostal and CharistmalÍc Movements (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1988), 471-472. 2 161 Most of those letters have not survived. The importance of the letters to Barratt is obvious. They are a large collection, written during a crucial period of the new movement’s development. They gave spiri- tual advice, communicated a series of theological positions, and served as seminal sources for an as yet unpublished theological essay com- pleted by Barratt on 27 November 1906, Thoughts on Pentecost and the Gift of Tongues.8 These were not entirely supplanted in the devel- opment of Barratt’s own thinking as revealed in the series of essays he wrote later which were, already by 1909, gathered into In the Days of the Latter Rain.9 They are, as far as I know, the largest extant collec- tion of personal letters privately addressed to an inquirer by the revivalist community at the Azusa Street Mission. It is worth noting that this was not the first time that Barratt had contacted well known revivalists. He, as were other Holiness and British evangelicals throughout the world, was intrigued by the Welsh revival. He promoted it in Byposten. the periodical of the Christiania (Oslo) City Mission. 10 He also wrote to Evan Roberts:11 I … we are following you and the great work God is doing in Wales. Oh, it is glorious. I wept for vcry joy whcn reading accounts of it … in “Thc Methodist Times.” Will you and your fricnds rcmcmbcr Norway and our work in Kris- tiania ? Join us in praying for a mighty revival over this centre for the political and social and rcligious life of this grand old country. …. Pray for me personally. I have often experienced the powcr of thc Holy Spirit in my work… but I want afuller baptism of fire. Pray for it. There is no record of a response from Roberts or his associates and no evidence of a major change in Barratt’s spirituality at this time. What is significant is the eager earnest intensity of his searching and the vivid sense of personal need for spiritual development. It was a need which Barratt nurtured throughout his visit to the U.S.A. in 1905 and 1906. He read extensively in the works of American revivalists and recorded frequent visits to Holiness camp meetings, including the 8T. B. Barratt, Thoughts on Pentecost and the Gift of Tongues. Unpublished Ms. Archives, of Oslo, T. B. Barratt Etterlatte Ms 40 3341. An sis of this University Papirer, analy- booklet, originally sent to Seymour at Azusa Street for publication, is to be presented to the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Theology, 12-14 November, 1992. Publication of this treatise is being arranged. It was Samuel J. Mead, a William Taylor missionary returning to Africa from Azusa Street, who gested sending this treatise to Los Angeles. See Barratt, When the Fire Fell, 136. sug- 9T. B. Barratt, In the Days of the Latter Rain (London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co., 1909) second edition, 1928, reprinted in The Work of T. B. Barratt (The Higher Christian Life; New York: Garland, 1985). lOT. B. Barratt, “Den store og maerkelige vaekkelse,” Byposten 2,1(1 idem. “Vaekkelscn i januar 1905), 2-4; Wales,” Byposten 2,3(28 januar 1905), 11-12. 1 IT. B. Barratt, Letter to Evan Roberts, 2 January 1904, University of Oslo Archives, T. B. Barratt Ettcrlatte Papirer, Dagboker X, 88 [italics his]. 3 162 famous Iowa Holiness Association Camp Meeting in University (Oskaloosa), and revivalist meetings in Chicago, Minneapolis New York. 12 Park and When the letters came in response to his inquiries, Barratt was pre- disposed to follow the advice given. The letters are edited here from the originals preserved in Barratt’s personal papers housed in the Archives of the University of Oslo Library. Emendations are indicated in the notes. Page breaks in the documents are signaled by a double slash [//]. All italics are as in the originals. Letter I : I. May Throop to T. B. Barrattl3 Los Angeles, 28 Sept. 1906 T. B. Barratt, Dear Brother in Our Lord Jesus Christ: Greetings to you in His name! Your earnest letter touched our hearts; we are praying for the full Pentecostal baptism upon you! So that you may be equipped for His service as you never have been! God is on the giving hand-is ready to pour this precious baptism upon you, as soon as you are ready to receive it! There has to be a complete coming out, and leaving all for Jesus losing of all but God 14 even the things that we have done our own experiences, theories, ideas, even our own thoughts, and just letting God have his own precious way with us. After you have fully consecrated, and know God has cleansed your heart, then Fast and wait upon God. Keep yourself in a receptive attitudels-no matter // what . workings go on in your body, continually let, and ask, God to have his own way with you. You need have no fear while you keep under the blood-“Perfect love casts out fear.” Some times a wonderful shaking takes place, and sometimes the language comes at first, as a baby learning to talk-But let God have all-tongue-hands, feet-the whole body-present to him as your remarkable service! When the Holy Ghost comes in, you will know it, for he will be in your very flesh. Be obedient on every line. Be walking-that He may be all in l2por example, T. B. Barratt, “Glimt fra vesten,” Byposien 3,23(17 november 1906), 97-98; 3,24(1 dccembcr 1906), 101-104; idem. When the Fire Fell and An Outline of My Life (Oslo: Alfons Hansen & Sonner, 1927), 105-124, passim, reprinted in The Work of T. B. Barrau (The Higher Christian Life; New York: Garland, 1985). 131. May Throop to T. B. Barratt, University of Oslo Archives, T. B. Barratt Ettcrlatte Papircr, Ms. 40 3341, XIIIa. This was published in T. B. Barratt, When the Fire Fell, 108-108. It also appears in Norwegian in, T. B. Barratt, “Glimt fra vesten. Da jcg fik min pintsedaab,” Byposien 3, 22(3 november 1906), 93-95, as well as idem. Erindringer (ed. Solveig Barratt Lange; Oslo: and in Filadelfiaforlaget, 1941), 103; Swedish, idem, Sjalvbiographi (trans. S. Gullberg; Stockholm: Förlagct Fila- dclfia, 1942), 118-119. l4B?tt emends, “Losing sight of all but God,” When the Fire Fell. 109. . l 5Sic, read, attitude, with Barratt, When the Fire Fell, 109. 4 163 all. We would be so glad if God should lead you to Los Angeles-that many have come from afar, and have gone back with their wonder Pen//tecost. Hallelujah! We send you [a]16 sample copy [of the paper] and will be rejoiced to hear from you again. I have lived in Los Angeles about 12 years, and very many of my friends, those I have known for years, are getting their Pentecost, and are thus ready to meet Jesus when He comes, and labor for souls as never in their life (sic) until that time should come, as they go home to glory! Oh, praise God forever! When we have this baptism, we are very different from what we were before17-and we would do nothing to loose it-It fits us up for the stake, as whatever may come! May God bestow this wonderful baptism upon you most speedily is our ernest prayer. Mrs. I. May Throop Letter II: G. A. Cook to T. B. Barratt 18 Los Angeles, Cal. Oct. 8, 1906 Dear Bro. Barratt, Your letter of Oct. 2 at hand. May the Lord bless you and fill you with the Holy Ghost as the disciples received Him on the day of Pentecost. We try to cover the ground as nearly as we can in the paper, but you know the Spirit cannot be transmitted through cold type unless the Holy Ghost illuminates. We are receiving much persecution from all denominations, the Methodists included. You are probably aware that God’s word teaches that “those who live Godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution.” The Holy Ghost only comes in when you come to the end of self. Every plan for the future must be laid to one side, and a complete surrender of our own will [be] 19 made then by a simple act of faith. He comes in and begins to do the work, this being the rest spoken of in Heb. 4:9. As we have much correspondence kindly excuse short letter and look to God to give you the true Pente- cost with the Bible evidence of speaking in other tongues. Under the Blood G. A. Cook, Man. Ed.20 16Words in parentheses added by Barratt in the manuscript and in his transcrip- tion, When the Fire Fell, 109. 17Barratt, When the Fire Fell, 109, italicizes this sentences, but not the original. 18G(lenn) A. Cook to T. B. Barratt, University of Oslo Archives, T. B. Barratt Etterlatte Ms. 40 3341, Dagboker IX, 23. Cook wrote of his own recollec- tions of the Azusa Street revival Papirer, in, The Azusa Street Meeting. Some this High Lights of Outpouring (Los Angeles: Belvedere Christian Mission, n.d.). 19Emendation. 20Glenn A. Cook signed the all three of his letters to Barratt claiming the title of Managing Editor of The Apostolic Faith. This relationship ceased in early 1907 when 5 164 Letter III: G. A. Cook to T. B. Barratt2l Los Angeles, Cal. Oct. 15, 1906 Dear Bro. Barratt With great joy I read your letter in regard to the baptism with the Holy Ghost. Surely our God is the same yesterday, today and forever. As I read the letter I could feel the Spirit moving in me thrilling me with joy and witnessing to the great work that had been done in your heart. May the Lord keep you in that state of grace and deep humility that you now enjoy. I told about your baptism before the meeting yesterday and great joy was manifested. The speaking in tongues should follow the baptism. If you had remained under the power until the Lord had finished you undoubtedly would have spoke (sick in tongues no [sic, read, not] necessarily for use in a foreign field, but as a sign to you of Pentecost, the same as at the house of Cornelius and at Ephesus. Some go several days after the Baptism before speaking, but unless you do speak there is always a tendency to leak out and a leak-hole for the devil to tempt you. While we are getting a Bible experience we may as well go all the way with Jesus and // measure up in every particular. Many here have taken the stand that speaking in tongues was not necessary and after being anointed have claimed their Pentecost, but their power was limited and nearly all have seen their error and tarried until they spake in tongues. May the Lord bless and use you. Under the blood, G. A. Cook, Man. Ed. he began circulating as an evangelist for the revival, locating in Indianapolis for some months. On his time in Indianapolis, see my forthcoming article, “Pente- costalism in Indianapolis,” in POLIS: Encyclopedia of Indianapolis. 21G(lenn) A. Cook to T. B. Barratt, University of Oslo Archives, T. B. Barratt Etterlatte Papirer, Ms. 40 3341, When the Dagboker IX, 23. This was published in T. B. Barratt, Fire Fell, 123. It also appears in Norwegian in idem, Erindringer (ed. Solveig Barratt Lange; Oslo: Filadclfiaforlagct, 1941), 117. The first account of the Azusa Street revival by Barratt was published in Byposten [“Pintsefest Los af en paany. Angeles er nu besogt vaekkelse, der minder om den beskrevet i Hel. Ap. Gj. 2,” Byposten 3,20(6 oktober 1906), 86-87]. Barratt had a religious experience, conditioned by expectations generated by reading Throop’s letter and the first number of The Apostolic Faith, but without the accompanying glossolalia, on 7 October 1906, of which an account was published, including the letter of Throop [T. B. Barratt, “Glimt fra vesten. Da jeg fik min pintsedaab,” Byposten 3,22(3 november 1906), 93-95]. Finally on 15 November 1906, he experienced glossolalia [T. B. Barratt, “Glimt fra vesten,” Byposten 3,24(1 december 1906), 101-104. Interestingly enough, the testimony to A. B. glossolalia was also published in a periodical edited by Simpson [T. B. Barratt, “The Seal of My Pentecost,” Living Truths 6 (December 1906), 735-738. 6 165 Letter IV: G. A. Cook to T. B. Barratt22 Dear Bro. Barratt Your letter of Oct. 26 at hand. We are joyed to learn that God is doing so much for you. Satan is not converted and is still in the busi- ness of perplexing God’s people. He is very wise and cunning and has many tricks to use that you nor (sic) I have not learned of. You must keep your eyes on Jesus and doubt not that God has begun a work that he is able and willing to finish. God has many lessons of humility and patience to teach us by withholding gifts and blessings that we seem to think should be always forthcoming. The more earnestly we covet a gift from God and the more we sacrifice to obtain it, the more highly we will prize it when it is obtained. In regard to your request for a doctor’s certificate in cases of healing, I do not feel clear to go to the world for evidence and reputable physi- cians are not very numerous in the narrow way. In fact, we have no physicians among us except // one or two who have ceased the practice of medicine. Just previous to starting this letter a lady and her husband by the name of Lemon, who reside in Whittier, Cal., and are well known and highly respected, dropped into the office to make a short call. She has been raised from a sick-bed of 15 years with a complica- tion of diseases and is now able to walk around and attend meetings without assistance. She is a little weak in her limbs yet but is growing stronger every day. This is only one of a number of cases that has come under my personal observation, but I still do not feel free to go to an ungodly world for proof of God’s power. I would rather point people to God’s word and let Him prove the matter by actual fulfillment.23 Under the Blood G. A. Cook, Man. Ed. P.S. Prayer will be made for your healing. 22G(lenn) A. Cook to T. B. Barratt, University of Oslo Archives, T. B. Barratt Etterlatte Papirer, Ms. 40 3341, Dagboker IX, 23. The first paragraph of this letter was published in T. B. Barratt, When the Fire Fell, 123-124. It does not appear in the Norwegian or Swedish versions. 23Barratt appended a note in the margin: “I wrote in answer that I agreed with him about the evidence of physicians.” He describes a personal experience of heal- ing, apparently the subject of this correspondence in When the Fire Fell, 127-128. 7 166 Letter V: Clara E. Lum to T. B. Barratt24 312 Azusa Street Los Angeles, Cal., Nov. 22nd 1906 Dear Bro. Barratt in Christ: We received your last letters and were rejoiced beyond measure to read them, especially the last one. I felt the power of God as I handled it and copied it off and edited it for the paper.25 Took it in and read it to the saints and the power of God fell upon them as I read and one received his Pentecost and began speaking in a new tongue. It was Bro. G. B. Cashwe11,26 a holiness preacher who came all the way from Dunn, N.C., to receive his Pentecost. He had been waiting on God for a few days and he was in the meeting that afternoon, the fire fell upon him as your letter was read and he received the real Pente- cost. A brother interpreted the first words he spoke in an unknown tongue, “I love God with all my soul.” We pray God will mightily use you, for you are a chosen vessel to carry this Gospel. Amen. We were glad to receive the papers.27 A brother who is seeking his Pentecost and reads your language was rejoiced to read your paper. We also were edified to read your letter in the Christian Alliance.28 The Lord will mightily use you in writing. You can write in two languages. Many are coming thousands of miles and seeking their Pentecost. Many are hungering for it who cannot come here. We want to hear from you often. We want to keep in touch with you and be one with you in prayer and in the blessed Spirit. May the Lord keep you humble and under the blood where he can glorify His name in granting signs and 24Clara E. Lum to T. B. Barratt, University of Oslo Archives, T. B. Barratt Etterlatte Papircr, Ms. 40 3341, Dagboker, IX, 53. This was not published in T. B. Barratt, When the Fire Fell. It was translatcd and published in Norwegian in idem, Erindringer (ed. Solveig Barratt Lange; Oslo: Filadelfiaforlaget, 1941), 126; and in Swedish, idem, Sjalvbiographi (trans. S. Gullberg; Stockholm; F6rlaget Filadelfia, 1942), 149-150. Barratt noted in the margin, “Letter from Azusa St. after their hearing of my rec. gift of Tongues [italics his]. This letter contains one significant 25″Baptized in New York,” The Apostolic Faith 1,4(December 1906), 2 [col. 3]. detail not recorded in other sources, that is, Barratt received the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” at the hand of a “Sister Maud Williams who got the blessing in Ontario, Canada and has the gift of tongues, laid her hands on my head and after that I had no more physical strength in me…About half past twelve I asked a brother there and Sister Leathcrman to lay hands on head my again….” 26G. B. Cashwell, “Came 3000 Miles for His Pentecost,” The Apostolic Faith 1,4((December 1906), 3 [cols. 1-2] refers to this reading. This nuances somewhat the account provided by H. V. Synan, “Cashwell, Gaston Bamabas,” Dictionary of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements. 109-110. 27By posten. 28Probably the text (or early publication?) of T. B. Barratt, “The Seal of My Pentecost,” Living Truths 6(December 19()6), 735-738. 8 167 wonders to be done in His name through you, that-many // may receive salvation and baptism with the Holy Ghost and healing through you. Yours in Christ, Clara E. Lum, Editor29 Letter VI: B. H. Irwin to T. B. Barratt30 194-12th St. Salem, Oregon Nov. 28, 1906 Dear Bro. Barratt: . I have just read your letter of the 13th to the saints at Los Angeles and it thrilled me through and through. I received my personal Pete- cost last Saturday night and such glory as God manifested in my soul no words can describe. But I did not speak in tongues until the // next evening, and then but one sentence in Portugese. Afterwards I spoke a single sentence in three other tongues. Now I am praying for a fuller and more copious manifestation of the languages. Your letter encour- aged me greatly. Will you pray for me that I may speak fluently and preach in other tongues? While I was at the altar gathering my Pente- cost the Lord // gave me a wonderful vision of the Glory of God and gave me a rapid but vivid survey of the work in many countries. He showed me Iceland, Norway and Sweden-I could see the multitudes of souls weeping their way to Jesus in those countries; He showed me West Africa the Gold Coast and the Congo country where hundreds of thousands of souls were crying for this // glorious gospel I could see large cities in West Africa where thousands of black faces were turned toward God eagerly drinking in the blessed truth; then he took me to Brazil in South America, all I could see multitudes of souls weeping 29If the signature as “Editor” in this letter is to bc trusted, as the articles about Cashwell and Barratt appear to confirm, it indicatcs she held that position before the move to Portland. See C. M. Robcck, “Lum, Clara E.” Dictionary of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, 561. 30B. H. Irwin to T. B. Barratt, University of Oslo Archives, T. B. Barratt Ettcrlatte Papircr, Ms. 40 3341, Dagbokcr, IX, 51. Unlike the others, this letter is not a rcsponse to an inquiry of Barratt, but it is rcacting to a letter of Barratt, that of 13 October in which Barratt has an experience but no glossolalia. It appears that the vision recounted in the letter is intended as “spiritual advice” or “logistical advice” for Barratt. This was not publishcd in any of the versions of T. B. Barratt, When the Fire Fell. The existence of this letter and its contents indicated that, at least for a pcriod Irwin was a Pcntecostal. This supplements the data providcd by H. V. “Irwin, Banjamin Hardin,” Dictionary of the Pentecostal and Synan, Charismatic Move- ments, 471-472. The letter is also interesting as an example of Holiness/Pentecostal mission and intcrcultural perspectives. See also his, “Pentecost Both Sides of the Ocean,” The Apostolic Faith 1,6(Feb.-Mar. 1907), 1, which also reports a letter of Barratt. Brackets indicate difficult readings in original. 9 168 before me the would recognize should Pray for me and opposition In His name, B. H. Irwin their way to the cross then the West Coast of South America came I believe I should know [the faces?] of the people I saw in Brazil and // in Sweden and Iceland. Then he showed me the devil worship [ ] in South India and the poor souls in China accepting full gospel. In Japan I saw three large cities all of which I’m sure I I ever see it. Oh it was wonderful! Amazing! write me if you can. Pray for the work here. Great here. arriving continued throughout Europe for Norway via England, (Oslo) and Byposten of the tradition in Norway and there were two Afterward . Barratt departed New York on 8 December home before Christmas. By 12 January it was reported that the Pentecostal revival had broken out in Christiania to narrate the development as well as India.31 However, cautious responses to the Pentecostal revival, as Barratt had received it and initially promoted it, which are documented from the Barratt files. The first was from his sister Mary (Polly) Barratt. It is undated, but clearly became a significant stimulous to Barratt rethinking structures imported from America. By 1910, Barratt had come to agree with her analysis of the biblical data, as had Jonathan Paul of As Bloch Hoell indicated,32 logical Germany. temporary Norwegian Pentecostal may his theo- Polly’s missive reflects con- thought:33 … I do indeed thank and praise God for these letters and pray that Laura be filled with the Vcry likely God won’t reveal in the same way to Spirit. Himself just hcr as He has done to you, but the Spirit will be the same…. But there are things in the paper (Apostolic Faith) I don’t care for. I will mention one. and They the idea that put so much stress on the Bible evidence one gets some of thesc people considcr speaking in a necessary experience for all. I can’t see this from God’s word. in tongucs seems to me to be one Biblc evidence but // God has not tied Himself down to one. No. He has many & gives each as seems good in His sight. tongues Speaking beginning copal Churches and individuals accepted From Bishop William Burt, Barratt also received some advice. At the Barratt spoke throughout Norway in the Methodist Epis- in several instances significant numbers of Barratt’s new understanding of Christianity. 31T, B. Barratt, “Vaekkelsen udbrudt i Kristiania,” Byposten 4,1(12 januar 1907), 1-3. 33Mary (Polly) 32Bloch Hoell, The Pentecostal Movement, 70, 74 et passim. Barratt to T. B. Barratt, University of Oslo Archives, T. B. Barratt Etterlatte Papirer, Ms. 40 3341, Dagboker, IX, 43. “Laura” is Laura Jakobsen Barratt, wife of T. B. BarratL . 10 169 During that first year, some 51 Pentecostal centers were started in Norway alone. This caused considerable controversy within Norway for Barratt disregarded the Methodist Episcopal protocols and eccle- siatical boundaries. Burt wrote on 25 May 1907:34 . …. From all the reports that have come to me of your doings, it is diffi- cult for me to at this distance, hence I have decided to wait until I shall be on the field. Permit me however to judge say that judging from the statements in your own letter I fear you are dividing the Church. Is that what God has called you to do? I love you as a friend and Christian brother and it would grieve me if you should unwittingly destroy the Lord’s vineyard thinking that were Do be careful. If however you persist in going wherc you doing good. you please and doing as you the please, only consistent thing for you to do concerning your relations to the Confcrence is “to locate.” ‘ In July, Barratt faced a storm of criticism on the floor of the Annual Conference of the Norwegian Methodist Episcopal Church. He made an impassioned appeal to the Conference, but to no avail. He was forced to locate, that is to resign from appointed regular ministry.35 Burt noted in his private notes of the Annual Conference that, “Barratt left his appointment and went off to Sweden and Denmark on evange- listic work of a peculiar type. He professed to have the gift of tongues. His conduct this year caused considerable trouble.”36 After July 1907, Barratt disappeared from official Methodist Episcopal records. Conclusion Barratt was on his way, however, at age 45, into a new career as Pentecostal revivalist, editor, statesman, author, theologian and hymn writer. He personally carried the Pentecostal message throughout Europe and spent significant time in India and the North America. Through his periodicals (Byposten (1904-1909) and later Korsets Seier [1909-published in several languages]) he created, chronicled, supported and disciplined the early Pentecostal churches in Europe. It all evolved because of a reading of the first number of The Apostolic Faith and the exchange of letters which followed. These letters provide Barratt 34Bishop William Burt to T. B. Barratt, University of Oslo Archives, T. B. Etterlatte Papirer, Ms. 40 3341, XIII, 10. 35T. B. Barratt, “Min stilling tol methodistkirkens aarskonference,” Byposten 4,16(27 juli 1907), 67-68. Methodist sources are remarkably silent. The Forhand- den biskoppelige Methodistkirkes norske Aarskonferences 32te Mode afholdt i Larvik 10-16 juli lungs-Protokol for 1907 (Kristiania: that n.p., 1907), 27, Barratt located. For a Norwegian Methodist historian’s merely reports appraisal of the events, see Ame Hassing, Religion and Power. The Case of Methodism in Norway (Lake Junaluska: Gencral Commission on Archives and History, The United Mcthodist Church, 1980). 36William Burt, “My Notes of Europcan Conferences, 1907,” United Methodist Board of Global Ministries (Manuscript, Archives, Drew University [OMC F 1152], Madison, NJ), 72. 11 170 an intimate view of the earliest months of the development of Pente- costal theology and liturgy. They also contribute to an understanding of the sociology of Azusa Street, permitting the reader to see in detail the inner workings of the Apostolic Faith Mission in Los Angeles, at least as it met the sympathetic “other,” the earnest inquirer. 12

Facebook Comments

Be first to comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.