Speaking In Tongues Empowered Early Pentecostals

Speaking In Tongues Empowered Early Pentecostals

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“The New World of Realities in Which We Live”:

How Speaking in Tongues Empowered

Early Pentecostals

Gary B. McGee

Assemblies of God T eological Seminary, 1435 North Glenstone Ave.,

Springfield, Missouri 65802, USA

[email protected]

Abstract

Histories of Pentecostalism have recounted how early adherents anticipated preaching in their newfound languages until disappointing reports from missionaries trickled home. Yet, in the years from 1901 to 1908, many Pentecostals recognized the value of glossolalic utterances to include languages not only for preaching but also as a means of prayer, with the latter especially denoting their willingness to step beyond the border of rational spirituality into the realm of Christian mysticism. At the same time, they addressed the connection of Spirit baptism to love in the Spirit-filled life and struggled with questions that arose about the meaning of the gift of interpretation. This essay proposes that the early literature reveals a consistently held role for adoration and prayerful intercession that enabled the faithful to withstand the impact of other changes in meaning.

Keywords

Pentecostalism, speaking in tongues, Spirit baptism

Introduction

“We wanted power from on high to help save the world,” declared Charles Parham matter-of-factly to a newspaper reporter as he reviewed the events of the January 1901 revival at his Bethel Bible School in Topeka, Kansas. “We prayed for it; we received it.”1 To Parham and his band of followers, who embraced his novel teaching on the baptism in the Holy Spirit, the

1

Charles F. Parham, quoted in “New Religion ‘Discovered’ at ‘Stone’s Folly’ Near Topeka,” Topeka Mail and Breeze, February 22, 1901; in Larry Martin, ed., The Topeka Outpouring of 1901, rev. ed. (Joplin, MO: Christian Life Books, 2000), 219.

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008 DOI: 10.1163/157007408X287803

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apostolic faith of the early church now had been restored to bring in the end-time harvest of souls. Through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28-29), God had miraculously begun to bestow unlearned languages on Spirit-baptized believers to preach the Good News to the nations, just as it happened on the day of Pentecost nineteen centuries before.2

It was all heady stuff for this little band of radical evangelicals, gaining the full restoration of the Spirit’s power ahead of others who had sought unsuc- cessfully for the Pentecostal blessing or thought they already had it without speaking in tongues. More Pentecostal revivals came in the succeeding years, though the hope of heralding the apostolic faith around the globe would take longer than initially expected. The earliest known Pentecostal missionary would depart not from Topeka, but from Fargo, North Dakota for South Africa in 1904.3 More would venture overseas as a result of other revivals, especially those at Los Angeles, Spokane, Chicago, and Toronto, as well as Oslo, Sunderland in England, and Stockholm.

Histories of Pentecostalism have recounted how early North American adherents anticipated preaching in their newfound languages until disappoint- ing reports from missionaries trickled home.4 Yet, relatively little attention has been paid to their adjustment to this development, though tongues remained central to their perception of Spirit baptism.5 Perhaps in the intervening years it has been assumed that with some embarrassment they returned to the New Testament to discover that tongues largely serves as an avenue of prayer. Notwithstanding, careful scrutiny of published testimonies and other infor- mation about tongues-speech from 1901 to 1908 at home and abroad paints

2

For the background of this expectation, see Gary B. McGee, “Taking the Logic ‘a Little Further’: Late Nineteenth-Century References to the Gift of Tongues in Mission-Related Litera- ture and T eir Influence on Early Pentecostalism,” Asian Journal of Pentecostal Theology 9 (January 2006): 99-125.

3

P. B. T ompson, “A Pentecostal Outpouring of T irty-four Years Ago,” Pentecostal Evangel, November 27, 1937, 8; Darrin J. Rodgers, Northern Harvest: Pentecostalism in North Dakota (Bismarck: North Dakota District Council of the Assemblies of God, 2003), 13-14. Neverthe- less, the classification of Mary Johnson as a Pentecostal missionary is not without problems.

4

Robert M. Anderson, Vision of the Disinherited: The Making of American Pentecostalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979), 89-92; Vinson Synan, The Holiness-Pentecostal Tra- dition: Charismatic Movements in the Twentieth Century (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1997), 89-92, 101-102; Grant Wacker, Heaven Below: Early Pentecostals and American Culture (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001), 44-51.

5

For example, British Pentecostal writer Donald Gee ignored the issue entirely by not men- tioning the early North American Pentecostal expectancy of preaching in the newly bestowed languages; The Pentecostal Movement: Including the Story of the War Years (1940-1947) (London: Elim Publishing Co., 1949), 11-19.

2

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a different picture, namely, one of theological and spiritual continuity.6 T is essay examines how, throughout this period, many Pentecostals saw the value of glossolalic utterances to include not only languages for preaching, but “prayer in the Spirit,” an embryonic entwining of deed and doxology that would long characterize Pentecostalism. It then investigates the connection with love in the Spirit-filled life and the questions that grew around the mean- ing of the gift of interpretation.

When the failure of tongues as a missio-linguistic tool became apparent, Pentecostals consequently retained their confidence in praying in tongues as the source of power, an approach both biblical and already familiar to them. Instead of this letdown traumatizing the self-understanding of the movement and blunting its growth, the fledgling diaspora of Pentecostal ministers and missionaries steadily increased decade after decade. T ough the psychological and social factors of speaking in tongues and the theologies of some early lead- ers have been carefully explored,7 the earliest Pentecostal descriptions of Spirit baptism and how tongues empowered them deserve further consideration.

Reception of Spirit Baptism

Judging by their testimonies, Pentecostals knew that speaking in tongues — “prophesying” (preaching), according to Joel 2:28 — afforded them the abso- lute certainty of Spirit baptism and the ability to communicate in unlearned languages.8 Hence, at Topeka, Agnes Ozman claimed to receive Chinese,

6

In 1908, Pentecostal missionary Alfred Garr wrote to the British periodical Confidence and announced to the Pentecostal world that he had “not seen any one who is able to preach to the natives in their own tongue with the languages given with the Holy Ghost.” By this time, many Pentecostals had abandoned the hope that one could preach in the mission lands with their newly acquired languages. See A. G. Garr, “A Letter from Bro. Garr,” Confidence, Special Supple- ment to Confidence, May 1908, 2; cf. “Fanatic Delusions Have Ruined Many,” Daily Republican- News (Hamilton, OH), January 31, 1908, 2; reprint of article by S. C. Todd in Baptist Argus (Louisville, KY).

7

Anderson, Vision, 10-27; Wacker, Heaven, 51-57; Douglas Jacobsen, T inking in the Spirit: T eologies of the Early Pentecostal Movement (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003).

8

While virtually all early Pentecostals valued speaking in tongues, there were those who questioned the exegetical basis for requiring this experience for everyone seeking Spirit baptism; for example, W. H. Piper, “Manifestations and ‘Demonstrations’ of the Spirit,” Latter Rain Evan- gel, October 1908, 16-20. The hermeneutical issue of the correct interpretation of Acts 2, 10, 19 and 1 Corinthians 12 and 14 represented the first theological division in the Pentecostal Movement, predating the later Finished Work Controversy on sanctification (1910) and the New Issue on the nature of the Godhead (1913), both of which took permanent form in organ- ized Pentecostalism.

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Howard Stanley spoke the “language of the East Indians, the Hindoos,” while others gained Turkish, Yiddish, Zulu, and many more.9 Languages announced at the later Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles, which began in April 1906, included German, Italian, Japanese, Bengali, Chippewa, and Eskimo, among others.10 Languages not identified were simply “unknown tongues,” as was the case with John Lake, who received his Spirit baptism at Zion, Illinois and later journeyed to South Africa as a missionary.11

But tongues brought them much more. In India, Max Wood Moorhead, a Presbyterian serving with the YMCA, marveled that in Spirit baptism, “God has brought one into the sphere of the supernatural, the sphere of the Holy Ghost who can now work in and through one’s being much more effectually.”12 Another Presbyterian-turned-Pentecostal, Alfred Street, working as a mission- ary in Hainan, China, said it “brings into a man the entire range of workings of the Holy Spirit Himself who is thus ready to work in all His completeness all the nine [gifts].”13 In the estimation of one Azusa participant, “It is a greater light than when you were sanctified. It is the full blessing of Christ.”14

The dynamics included new levels of rapturous joy and love; control of the “unruly member” — the tongue (Jas 3:8-10);15 heightened sensitivity to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in personal prayer, corporate worship, and min- istry; the prerequisite to be a channel of the charismatic gifts (1 Cor 12:7- 11);16 invigorated boldness to witness for Christ; and the facility to cast out

9

For Howard Stanley, see Martin, Topeka, 215; references to other languages on 235, 244, 247. Early Pentecostals often identified the languages by the familiar sounds of the utterance, by hearers who recognized the language, through the assistance of a vision of a foreign country when speaking in tongues, or direct confirmation from God. For example, “Woman Claims Great Gift,” Fresno Morning Republican, September 15, 1906, 3.

10

News note, Apostolic Faith (L.A.), September 1906, 1, col. 4.

11

Diary of John G. Lake, entry for October 1907, 5. Available at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center, Springfield, Missouri, http://ifphc.org/.

12

Max Wood Moorhead, “A Personal Testimony,” Cloud of Witnesses to Pentecost in India, September 1907, 38. Moorhead served with the YMCA in Colombo, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and lived at different times in Bombay (Mumbai), India.

13

A. E. Street, “What Is Pentecost?” Intercessory Missionary, June 1907, 38.

14

“Salvation According to the True Tabernacle,” Apostolic Faith (L.A.), September 1907, 3, col. 3.

15

R. A. Jaffray, “‘Speaking in Tongues’ — Some Words of Kindly Counsel,” Christian and Missionary Alliance Weekly, March 13, 1909, 396; Ethel E. Goss, The Winds of God: The Story of the Early Pentecostal Movement (1901-1914) in the Life of Howard A. Goss, rev. ed. (Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press, 1977), 95.

16

Parham announced that he and his followers had “received all the gifts that Christ con- ferred upon His earliest disciples”; “New Kind of Missionaries,” Hawaiian Gazette (Honolulu), May 31, 1901, 10. See also George F. Taylor, The Spirit and the Bride (Falcon, NC: By the author,

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demons.17 While Holiness believers had similarly portrayed the effects of their own encounters with the Spirit, what distinguished Pentecostals and also alienated them from their spiritual parents was the pivotal role of speaking in tongues in producing such enablement.18

Pentecostals combed the English language for metaphors to describe the blessing that came with speaking in languages they had never learned. “Great floods of laughter came into my heart,” recalled Lilian T istlethwaite when hands were laid on her at Bethel Bible School to receive Spirit baptism, “so I just let the praise come as it would in the new language given, with the floodgates of glory wide open.”19 Tom Anderson at Azusa Street felt the Holy Spirit “pulling the rope which rings the joybells of heaven in my heart.”20 Blanche Appleby told the Atlanta-based Bridegroom’s Messenger that “the waves of glory that flowed through my soul were like the turbulent Niagara that flows over the precipice to the rocks beneath,” leaving “a joy that remaineth, a power that does not yield to the flesh in the hour of temptation, and a heart, mind, and body dedicated to God, perfectly willing to go where He wants me to go.”21 Appleby later sailed for East Asia as a missionary and spent twenty- five years in China and the Philippines.22

With the impending close of history in view and wondering how the gospel could be preached “in the whole world as a testimony to all nations” (Matt 24:14),23 Parham and other Pentecostals had daringly looked at Acts 2 as the

1907), 128. Written by Pentecostal Holiness leader George Taylor, it represents the first book- length treatise on Pentecostal theology.

17

Garfield T. Haywood, “Baptized with the Holy Ghost and Healed,” Bridegroom’s Messenger, December 1, 1908, 3.

18

For example, A. M. Hills, Holiness and Power for the Church and Ministry (Cincinnati: Revivalist Office, 1897), 297-343. The alienation of Pentecostals from the ranks of the Holiness movement because of tongues is discussed in Taylor, Spirit, 39-59. See Grant A. Wacker, “Travail of a Broken Family: Radical Evangelical Responses to the Emergence of Pentecostalism in Amer- ica, 1906-16,” in Pentecostal Currents in American Protestantism, ed. Edith L. Blumhofer et al. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999), 23-49.

19

Lilian T istlethwaite, “The Wonderful History of the Latter Rain,” in Sarah E. Parham, The Life of Charles F. Parham, Founder of the Apostolic Faith Movement (Baxter Springs, KS: Apostolic Faith Bible College, 1930), 61.

20

“Pentecostal Testimonies,” Apostolic Faith (L.A.), February-March 1907, 8, col. 1.

21

Blanche Appleby, “A Transformation,” Bridegroom’s Messenger, October 1, 1907, 1.

22

Inez Spence, With a Song in Her Heart: Blanche Appleby, Heroes of the Conquest, No. 1 (Springfield, MO: Foreign Missions Department of the Assemblies of God, n.d.), 3-14.

23

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from Today’s New Interna- tional Version.

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precedent for Spirit baptism and preaching in divinely given languages.24 In describing his own Spirit baptism, he said, “a glory fell over me and I began to worship God in the Swedish tongue, which later changed to other languages and continued so until the morning.”25 “The Holy Ghost knows all the lan- guages of the world,” he told a Kansas City reporter, “and all we have to do is to yield ourselves wholly to God . . . and power will be given us so that we can have such control of our vocal chords, that we can enter any country on earth and talk and understand [the] language.”26

Pentecostals could embrace the two components of language proficiency and prayer and worship in Spirit baptism because they read of the disciples “declaring the wonders of God” on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:11) and “prais- ing God” in tongues in the home of Cornelius (Acts 10:46). T us, Parham “began to worship God in the Swedish tongue.” Paul’s statement in 1 Corin- thians 14:2 took on great importance: “For those who speak in a tongue do not speak to other people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.” It is here that the published testimonies — the voices of insiders, though lacking the precision of formal theological exposi- tion — show that Pentecostals had discovered in Spirit baptism an avenue of adoration in glossolalic utterance not restored extensively since the time of the ancient church. The charismatic dimension of spirituality then notably changed their perception of the Holy Spirit. No longer regarding the third Person of the Trinity as an “influence or a blessing,” evangelist Carl Hanson now saw the Spirit “as a person, [who] took possession of His Temple, speak- ing in other tongues.”27

Because the exceptional feature of tongues-speech as a missio-linguistic tool drove the notoriety of the new movement, the concomitant role of prayer and

24

A. A. Boddy corrected this interpretation: “On the day of Pentecost the Divine ecstasy and the tremendous crying out in snatches of tongues — the praise and adoration — the speaking of the wonderful works of God — this attracted multitudes, but it was Peter’s speech which was used to convert. The speaking in tongues was not the converting instrument. It attracted. The 120 knew that the blessed Holy Ghost was in them because He had taken their mouths and used them to speak through. He testified thus to His presence.” A. A. Boddy, “Speaking in Tongues — 2,” The Christian, August 8, 1907, 25.

25

Charles F. Parham, quoted in Parham, Life, 54.

26

Charles F. Parham, quoted in “Story of His Belief: Rev. Charles F. Parham Tells How He Learned His Religion,” Kansas City Times , February 4, 1901; reprinted in Martin, Topeka, 252.

27

C. M. Hanson, “My Personal Experiences of the Graces of Salvation, Healing and Baptism in the Holy Spirit” (tract) (Dalton, MN: By the author, 1906), 4. Hanson’s Spirit baptism prob- ably occurred in 1899. I am indebted to Darrin J. Rodgers for sharing this tract and other related materials with me.

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worship was obscured. Nevertheless, it steadily gained more attention. After hearing Parham preach at a meeting in Joplin, Missouri, people buzzed that tongues “not only [brought] a . . . crown of rejoicing to us who have received, but gives us power to witness for our Master.”28 In the summer of 1905, Parham’s Apostolic Faith (Melrose, Kansas) newspaper announced that when the glossolalic utterances of the newly Spirit-baptized at the revival in Orchard, Texas were interpreted, the meaning was “always in praise or supplication to God.”29

Commenting on criticisms about unknown tongues at their meetings, as well as the intent of 1 Corinthians 14:2, Warren Carothers, a lieutenant of Parham, explained it even more forthrightly: “Tongues . . . are praises to God in language, peculiarly acceptable to Him for the reason that He forms the words, and there is abundant use for the tongue whether any man understands him or not, in fact the inevitable inference from St. Paul’s statement is that it is not primarily intended that any man should understand the tongues.”30 Others shared a similar outlook: In early 1907 in Calcutta, when unable to preach in the language he claimed to have gotten at Azusa Street, missionary Alfred Garr, who still believed he prayed in but could not preach in Bengali, retained belief in prayer and praise in tongues as the fountain of Pentecostal power: “Oh! the blessedness of His presence when those foreign words flow from the Spirit of God through one’s soul, and then are delivered back to God in praise to Him or in edification to others or in prophecy.”31 In Wales, just a few months before Garr published his opinion, Catherine Price expressed the same idea, looking upon “these languages . . . as avenues or doors by which I was led in and out of heaven.”32

28

Mrs. D. M. Preston, quoted in an unnamed Joplin, Missouri newspaper article reprinted in Parham, Life, 111.

29

“Revivals at Orchard and Houston, Texas,” Apostolic Faith (Melrose, KS), August 1905 (pages not numbered); see also, “The Apostolic Faith,” Apostolic Faith (Melrose, KS), October- November 1905 (pages not numbered); the ability to “speak and pray in languages unknown” is also mentioned in “News from Houston,” Galveston Daily News , August 14, 1905, 5.

30

Warren F. Carothers, The Baptism with the Holy Ghost and the Speaking in Tongues (Zion City, IL: n.p., 1906), 21. In contrast, George Taylor recommended that seekers praise God as the means of gaining Spirit baptism and tongues; once received, however, speaking in tongues func- tioned only for preaching in the mission lands; Taylor, Spirit, 134-35.

31

A. G. Garr, “Tongues. The Bible Evidence to the Baptism with the Holy Ghost,” Pentecostal Power (Calcutta), March 1907, 3. During a Pentecostal meeting in Danville, Virginia before his voyage to India, Garr told of a man in the audience who was baptized in the Spirit and “spake in tongues and magnified God”; idem, “Pentecost in Danville, Va.,” Apostolic Faith (L.A.), October 1906, 14, col. 3.

32

Catherine S. Price, quoted in Stanley H. Frodsham, “With Signs Following”: The Story of the Latter Day Pentecostal Revival (Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1926), 70.

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Pentecostals also coupled Romans 8:26b-27 with tongues-speech where Paul says: “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” Lillian Garr professed a greater “burden on my heart for India’s hungry souls. The Spirit has groaned through my soul for hungry ones until the pain was like travail.”33 Revealing the nexus of pneuma- tology, eschatology, and the urgent summons of the Great Commission in their thinking, Pentecostals identified such intercessory “prayer in the Spirit” as essential to the Lord’s work.34 Although periodicals continued to tell of its appearance as a “sign . . . for unbelievers” (1 Cor 14:22),35 the hope of tongues as a gift of language for preaching had diminished to some extent by 1908.36

In a related development and in contrast to the notion that tongues repre- sented unlearned human languages, Pentecostals began to identify tongues as the languages of angels (1 Cor 13:1), a phenomenon that also highlighted prayerful adoration. T is surfaced as early as February 1904 in Audubon, Minnesota where A. O. Morken described the tongues heard in revival meet- ings there as “Angel Language.”37 T ree years later, Alfred Garr concluded that

33

Sister A. G. (Lillian) Garr, “In Calcutta, India,” Apostolic Faith (L.A.), April 1907, 1, col. 1.

34

For example, Cora Hansen, “Testimony,” India Alliance, August 1908, 23.

35

Referring to his conversion during Parham’s meetings in Galena, Kansas in 1903, Howard Goss said: “I feel that I owe my conversion to Christianity to hearing people speak in other tongues. The 14th Chapter of 1 Corinthians tells us that tongues are a sign to the ‘unbelievers.’ Today, I still thank God that I heard and saw His own sign from heaven.” Goss, Winds, 37. A. A. Boddy described similar happenings in England in “A Visit to Kilsyth,” Confidence, April 1908, 9. Pentecostals continued to be enamored with anecdotes of people being converted through hearing someone speaking in tongues in their own language, though the person speaking had never studied it; see Frodsham, With Signs, 208-29; Ralph W. Harris, Spoken by the Spirit: Docu- mented Accounts of “Other Tongues” from Arabic to Zulu (Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1973).

36

In November 1906, Warren Carothers expressed hesitations about Pentecostal missionaries being able to preach in unlearned languages: “Just what part the gift of tongues is to fill in the evangelization of heathen countries is [a] matter for faith as yet. It scarcely seems from the evi- dence at hand to have had much to do with foreign mission work in New Testament times, and yet, in view of the apparent utility of the gift in that sphere and of the wonderful missionary spirit that comes with Pentecost, we are expecting the gift to be copiously used in the foreign field. We shall soon know.” Carothers, Baptism, 21; also, T omas G. Atteberry, “Tongues,” Apos- tolic Truth, December 1906, 7-8.

37

A. O. Morken, “From Our Own Learning Circle,” [trans. Erik L. Williamson], Folke-Ven- nen (“The People’s Friend”), February 25, 1904, 4. Rodgers writes, “I did not find any evidence that the Scandinavians from Minnesota and the Dakotas had contact with Parham’s Apostolic Faith band, which operated primarily in Kansas, Missouri, and Texas. Parham’s group did not

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unknown tongues could be either recognizable languages or those of angels.38 The belief that tongues operated primarily for prayer meant that Spirit-inspired speakers were “setting forth the mysteries of God.”39 “It is like a message from heaven to your own spirit,” said another, “and your spirit is edified though your understanding may be unfruitful.”40

Empowered through Love

Like their evangelical and Holiness counterparts, Pentecostals understood love to be indispensable to Christian integrity and noted Paul’s emphasis on it in relation to the Spirit-filled life (Gal 5:22; 1 Cor 13). Tongues-speech could not be separated from the core value of Christian love for their new-found view of Spirit baptism to be biblically valid. Therefore, pioneer evangelist Howard Goss considered love the “most necessary accompaniment which the Spirit freely confers.”41 Because the disciples “were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1 [AV]) on the Day of Pentecost, Pentecostals took this to mean that love and unity had to prevail among them — the result of sanctification or consecration — in preparation for the Spirit’s outpour- ing and their work in the vineyard of the Lord. At Topeka, “all moved in harmony” in spiritual expectancy.42 Whether Methodists, Friends, Holiness, or independents, the students prayed collectively, though “only white per- sons [were] present at the first Pentecostal shower.”43 After their reception of tongues, they “began to sing together [with] each one singing in [their] own new language in perfect harmony,” symbolizing a supernatural concord of love among them.44

grow significantly until 1905, well after Pentecostal congregations had formed on the northern Great Plains.” Northern, 16.

38

Garr, “Tongues,” 3. A believer speaking in a language of angels would account for unfamil- iar sounds. In this event, only God could provide the meaning through bestowing the gift of interpretation; others present would not be able to recognize it. A. A. Boddy said that speaking in tongues “may be the tongue of men or of angels, or changing swiftly and unmistakably from language to language, until three or more languages have been used. Sometimes with interpreta- tion — more often at first no interpretation. But it is Divine worship indeed.” A. A. Boddy, “Speaking in Tongues” — 1, The Christian , August 1, 1907, 23.

39

Ibid.

40

“Questions and Answers,” Bridegroom’s Messenger, November 1, 1908, 2.

41

Howard Goss, quoted in Goss, Winds, 96.

42

T istlethwaite, “History,” in Parham, Life, 59.

43

Ibid., 63.

44

Ibid., 61.

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The solidarity lived beyond Topeka. A newspaper article on the 1903 revival in Galena, Kansas expressed surprise that “[Parham’s meetings have] brought about conditions that were never before witnessed in this section.” In observ- ing the audience, the writer commented on the leveling effect: “Here the man of prominence and position clasps hands with the uneducated son of toil or oft times with those who have a prison record back of them. Here women who have formerly lived for society and gaiety kneel beside some fallen sister and endeavors [sic] to point her heavenward and here the ‘followers’ receive what they term ‘the Pentecost.’”45

At the same time, however, Pentecostals seldom gave quarter to opponents, or those they perceived to be enemies. Sometimes their rhetoric could be stri- dent; on occasion, they appeared to have a gift for alienating people, as when Parham publicly denounced other Christians in Galena as “‘hypocrites,’ ‘Phar- isees,’ ‘old dry bones,’ ‘selfish,’ ‘dishonest,’ ‘deceivers of the people,’” and then scornfully rendered the ultimate insult: “If Christ was to come to Galena, these ministers and members of the organized churches would join to put him to death.”46 In Calcutta, Alfred Garr managed to offend both the Anglican and Methodist establishments with his scoldings and contention that “there is no baptism of the Holy Spirit without the sign of speaking with tongues.”47 For Pentecostals, there were no gray areas when it came to what they considered issues of eternal importance, be they membership in denominations that appeared to deny the power of the Holy Spirit or doubting God’s willingness to spiritually enable contemporary Christians in the same way as he did for the disciples on the day of Pentecost.48

An early sign of gender equality and racial deference in ministry denoting confidence in the Spirit’s outpouring highlighted the large Apostolic Faith convention in Houston in August 1906. In addition to other events, it offered a short-term ministerial training school; four of the ten instructors were women, including Millicent McClendon who taught aspiring evangelists how

45

“T ree Months of Religious Fervor,” Joplin Daily News Herald, January 24, 1904, 11. The revival services were apparently open to all races, including Native Americans; the writer refers to an “Indian who had come from the Pawnee reservation that day to attend the services.” See James R. Goff, Jr., Fields White Unto Harvest: Charles F. Parham and the Missionary Origins of Pentecos- talism (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1988), 107-11.

46

Charles F. Parham, quoted in C. W. Harvey, “The Romance of Doctrine,” Galena Evening Times, December 11, 1903, 2. Wacker discusses the temperament of early Pentecostals in Heaven, 18-34.

47

F. B. Price, “Manifestations Genuine and Counterfeit,” Indian Witness, April 18, 1907, 252.

48

Wacker, Heaven, 23-25.

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to preach.49 One of the other notable speakers at the convention was Lucy Farrow. “Although a Negro . . . [she] was received as a messenger of the Lord to us, even in the deep south of Texas,” remembered Howard Goss.50 A more spectacular demonstration of mutual respect happened at Azusa Street, where one participant said “the ‘color line’ was washed away in the blood”51 and another declared that “Pentecost means to live right in the 13th chapter of First Corinthians, which is the standard. . . . [It] makes us love Jesus more and love our brothers more. It brings us all into one common family.”52

In another display of unity, a wide swath of Pentecostals said that as the Spirit’s “overcoming power” came upon them, they began singing in tongues, an occurrence that virtually video streamed them into the adoration of the Lamb in heaven (Rev 19:6-9).53 “Oh, it was like bursting clear through the earthly into the heavenly,” hummed Kate Knight, who served with the Chris- tian and Missionary Alliance in Bombay. “The music is all new and seems to transport my soul into the choir of the angels.”54 In nearby Kedgaon, Minnie Abrams sang a “hymn of praise to the Triune Jehovah in Hebrew, and she knows no Hebrew.”55 Someone else said, “The Lord drops down sweet anthems from the paradise of God, electrifying every heart,” a marvel that eliminated the need for song books and musical instruments since the “Holy Ghost plays

49

“The Apostolic Faith,” Galveston Daily News, August 6, 1906, 7. The other women instruc- tors during the two-week training school, which concluded with the ordination and assignments of the graduates, included Mrs. W. R. Quinton who spoke on “Healing — Visiting and Prayer for the Sick”; Miss Bird on “Altar Work”; and Mrs. Mabel Smith on “Unity and Obedience.” Smith, Mrs. [Anna] Hall, and Lucy Farrow, along with Parham and Carothers, spoke in the general services. For a newspaper report on Smith’s preaching, see “Apostolic Faith Meetings,” Galveston Daily News, August 10, 1906, 6.

50

Howard Goss, quoted in Goss, Winds, 98; cf. Goff, Fields White, 109. Farrow had returned from the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles to attend the convention on her way to the East Coast.

51

Frank Bartleman, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost (S. Plainfield, NJ: Bridge Publishing, 1980; originally published in 1925 as How Pentecost Came to Los Angeles ), 54.

52

Untitled note, Apostolic Faith (L.A.), May 1908, 3, col. 2.

53

Untitled note, Apostolic Faith (L.A.), September 1907, 3, col. 4. For an insightful analysis of the temperament of early Pentecostals, see Wacker, Heaven, 18-34. Unity continued in some contexts; see “ ‘Holy Ghosters’ Win Whites and Negroes,” New York Times, June 8, 1908, 5. A rare theological unity on the role of tongues with Spirit baptism continued at the Mukti Mission in India; see Minnie Abrams, “India,” Confidence, September 15, 1908, 14.

54

Kate Knight, “For His Glory,” Christian and Missionary Alliance Weekly, January 25, 1908, 274.

55

Rachael Nalder, “Miracles of Salvation, Healing, Provision and Protection,” Latter Rain Evangel, November 1908, 10.

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119

the piano in all our hearts.”56 For “Brother Burke” in Anaheim a “music band of a thousand instruments was set up within me” that left him singing days afterward.57 To Church of God in Christ founder Charles Mason, “It was the sweetest thing to have [the Holy Spirit] sing through me.”58 But when the whole congregation sang in tongues, reported Susan Duncan on the revival in Rochester, New York, the immanent presence of the Spirit transformed them into a “heavenly choir” with its voice “sounding out like a great oratorio of angelic voices.”59 Frank Bartleman called this group experience at Azusa Street a “gift of God of high order,” sovereignly bestowed by the Holy Spirit and bringing a “heavenly atmosphere, as though the angels themselves were present and joining with us.”60 Such an encounter was nothing less than one’s spirit being ushered “into the throne room of God,” insisted Alfred Street, who received Spirit baptism in Chicago.61

At a Swiss Pentecostal meeting, an interpretation of tongues announced that the “Spirit would sing.” Immediately, a young woman (a soprano) began to sing in tongues shortly before another young woman (an alto) followed suit. “The blending of the two was like celestial music,” wrote Madame Seifer, “for the Holy Spirit was singing through them in a strange yet very soft and musi- cal language,” while the congregation listened in silence with rapt attention.62 T ough in this instance only two voices were heard, the audience participated in the theater of the event. The harmony that emanated by way of such happenings involved far more than music: it united Pentecostals together from many backgrounds, swept them up into the eschatological worship of heaven — pulling back the curtain briefly to let them glimpse the divine love

56

Untitled note, Apostolic Faith (L.A.), December 1906, 2, col. 5.

57

Bro. Burke, “The Holy Ghost from Heaven,” Apostolic Faith (L.A.), November 1906, 3, col. 2.

58

C. H. Mason, “Tennessee Evangelist Witnesses,” Apostolic Faith (L.A.), February-March 1907, 7, col. 2.

59

Susie [sic] A. Duncan quoted in Frodsham, With Signs, 53.

60

Bartleman, Azusa, 56. Bartleman referred to it as the “heavenly chorus.” Other accounts include Marie E. Brown, “I Remember,” Pentecostal Evangel, March 15, 1964, 20-21; Ruth Carter, “An Unusual Experience in the Upper Room Mission,” Pentecostal Evangel, August 7, 1966, 9; Alice Reynolds Flower, “The Ministry of ‘Brother Tom,’” Pentecostal Evangel, June 12, 1966, 23. In the Chilean Pentecostal revival that began in 1909, Willis C. Hoover said people described the phenomenon variously as the “Heavenly Anthem,” “Heavenly Choir,” and “Song of the Lord.” Willis Collins Hoover, History of the Pentecostal Revival in Chile, trans. Mario G. Hoover (Lakeland, FL: By the translator, 2000), 154-55.

61

A. E. Street, “The Way to Perfect Satisfaction,” Intercessory Missionary, January 1908, 63.

62

Madame Seifer, “The Work of the Holy Ghost in Switzerland,” Cloud of Witnesses to Pente- cost in India, March 1908, 27.

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for humankind,63 and thereby energized them to enlist in the mission of God. “We would have messages [in tongues] and interpretations and we would sing by the power of the Holy Ghost in the Heavenly Choir, and weep for a lost world,” remembered William Booth-Clibborn about the early Pentecostal revivals in Germany.64

The bonding of Spirit baptism with the Christian world mission appears as well in comments like the following from the pages of the Apostolic Evangel: “This baptism puts more love in us for God and His people and for the lost than anything that has ever come to this world.”65 Church of God founder A. J. Tomlinson observed that Joel’s prophecy indicated that believers would receive visions in the last days. He knew something of this himself because when he began speaking in tongues, a vision transported him to Central America to see the plight of the masses, resulting in a “paroxysm of suffering [that] came over me as I seemed to be in soul travail for their salvation.” From there the vision took him to other countries as he spoke in their languages.66 The Methodist T omas Barratt of Oslo “could easily distinguish the different languages by the . . . difference in the sound of the words,” as he saw the nations in his vision.67 Barratt soon traveled across Europe and to India to promote the Pentecostal message. Minnie Draper, an associate of A. B. Simpson in the ministry of healing at Berachah Home in Nyack, New York, also experienced a vision at Spirit baptism and “spoke of train men going through the cars, say- ing, ‘Last call for dinner,’ and the Spirit was showing His children that now the last call is going out to the world.”68 She and other Alliance Pentecostals organ- ized the Pentecostal Mission in South and Central Africa in 1910, the first permanent Pentecostal mission agency in North America.69 Others viewed

63

Carothers connected singing in tongues with the song of the 144,000 (Rev 14:3) in Bap- tism, 24.Others related it to the “wedding song of the Lamb” in Revelation 19:9; see “Notes by Two Visitors,” Confidence, June 30, 1908, 14.

64

William Booth-Clibborn, quoted in Frodsham, With Signs, 111.

65

“Some Infallible Evidences,” an article reprinted from Apostolic Evangel in Cloud of Wit- nesses to Pentecost in India, September 1907, 55.Chicago pastor William H. Durham said that as a result of his Spirit baptism, “I had a depth of love and sweetness in my soul that I had never even dreamed of before, and a holy calm possessed me, and a holy joy and peace, that is deep and sweet beyond anything I ever experienced before, even in the sanctified life.” W. H. Durham, “A Chicago Evangelist’s Pentecost,” Apostolic Faith (L.A.), February-March 1907, 4, cols. 2-3.

66

A. J. Tomlinson, The Last Great Conflict (Cleveland, TN: Walter E. Rodgers, 1913), 212.

67

T. B. Barratt, “The Seal of My Pentecost,” Living Truths, December 1906, 737; Gee, Pente- costal, 14-15.

68

S. G. Otis, “Work in Boston and Vicinity,” Word and Work, June 1907, 178.

69

Gary B. McGee, “Pentecostal Mission in South and Central Africa,” in New International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements (2002).

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Christ suffering on the cross for the salvation of the world and were moved to action.70

The Pentecostal baptism with its component of the languages of the world inspired women and men to reach over ethnic and cultural barriers. “God makes no difference in nationality,” said one Azusa enthusiast, “Ethiopians [African-Americans], Chinese, Indians, Mexicans, and other nationalities worship together.”71 T ey also freely disclosed how the “fullness” of the Holy Spirit altered their attitudes. Carrie Judd Montgomery, a well-known advocate of faith healing living in California and a promoter of missions, told of gaining a “remarkable love” for the Chinese people, “something different — an outgo- ing of the Spirit in divine love toward them, an intercession which was won- derful.”72 In India, two women missionaries “came into such a measure of the joy of the Lord in their immersion in the Holy Ghost that their hearts overflowed in love and longing to have their native brothers and sisters in the adjoining district share the great blessing [of the baptism in the Holy Spirit].”73

Tasting the ideal of equality in Christ, however, both gratified and chal- lenged the faithful. During the revival at the Alliance orphanage in Kaira (Gujarat State), in which missionaries and Indian Christians received Spirit baptism, Sarah Coxe remembered that “one little Indian girl was so happy after she was baptized that she laughed and laughed and finally went up to Mrs. Schoonmaker . . . and said: ‘God loves me as well as He does you. I’m black, you’re white, but He has given me the Baptism too.’”74 The promise of God’s conferral of spiritual gifts “also upon the servants and upon the hand- maids” (Joel 2:29 [AV]) in places of social and political oppression explains in part why Pentecostalism has been so easily contextualized around the world.75

Doggedly active and ready to face human and even what they considered to be satanic opposition, the early Pentecostals persevered and growth often

70

For example, the vision that accompanied the Spirit baptism of Marguerite Fell at the Rochester, New York revival; Elizabeth V. Baker et al., Chronicles of a Faith Life, 2d ed. (Roches- ter, NY: Elim Publishing Co., ca.1926), 135; also that of Christian H. Schoonmaker in India: “My Baptism in the Holy Spirit,” Cloud of Witnesses to Pentecost in India, November 1908, 2.

71

“The Same Old Way,” Apostolic Faith (L.A.), September 1906, 3, col. 2; also, Bartleman, Azusa, 43-66.

72

Carrie Judd Montgomery, quoted in Frodsham, With Signs, 213.

73

Max Wood Moorhead, quoted in ibid., 130.

74

Sarah Coxe, quoted in ibid., 135.

75

David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World T eir Parish (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2002), 167-72.

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followed, though not uniformly.76 When young women evangelists of the Mukti Mission (at Kedgaon in Maharashtra State) went out to preach in the villages, they stayed “unmoved and fearless by the power of the Holy Ghost,” in spite of being “despised, evil spoke against [and] stones, dirt, and all manner of things thrown at them.” Hearing the stories of what Jesus had done for these evangelists and what he could do for them, “the people are often won- der-struck and cannot understand by what power these girls can speak in such a way.”77 Such accounts reminded Pentecostals of first-century Christianity and affirmed the legitimacy of their own endeavors.

The Gift or the Giver

After hearing reports about Pentecostal meetings or gleaning information directly from firsthand contact, bystanders grimly warned “of many instances where the alleged gift of tongues led the subjects and the audiences into the wildest excesses and were accompanied with voices and actions more closely resembling wild animals than rational beings, impressing all unprejudiced observers that it was the work of the devil.” “Indeed,” lamented Alliance founder A. B. Simpson, “the worst feature of the whole thing is the ten- dency to seek some special gift rather than the Giver Himself,” though ironically certain of his oldest and most trusted colleagues would join the new movement.78

The charged atmosphere of Pentecostal meetings produced widely varied emotional responses, with nervous onlookers scandalized by the “emotional mania” and the “wildest [kind of] fanaticism.”79 To them, the “freedom in the Spirit” that Pentecostals trumpeted sounded more like the percussion of hys- teria or the counterpoint of malevolent influence on human emotions. In

76

Wacker, Heaven, 1-14. For one Pentecostal’s perception of satanic opposition, see “Speak- ing with Tongues,” Missionary Review of the World XXI (January 1908): 61.

77

Miss K. Steele, “Tongues in Pandharpur,” Cloud of Witnesses to Pentecost in India , March 1908, 6. Affiliated with the Poona and Indian Village Mission, Steele also reported that most of the young women “pray at times in ‘tongues,’” and “are . . . lost in praise and prayer . . . . T ey are indeed speaking to God.”

78

A. B. Simpson, editorial, Christian and Missionary Alliance Weekly , February 2, 1907, 1; cf. “Editorials,” India Alliance , June 1908, 138-39; see also Charles W. Nienkirchen, A. B. Simpson and the Pentecostal Movement (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1992), 107-22. Taylor responds to criticism that Pentecostals “exalt the ‘gifts’ above the ‘Giver’’’ in Spirit, 45-46.

79

A. T. Pierson, “Speaking in Tongues” — II, Missionary Review of the World XX (New Series) (September 1907): 683.

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Minnesota, Carl Hanson vigorously rejected allegations of hypnotic manipu- lation by declaring that regardless of the ecstasy of charismatic encounter, Pen- tecostals “know exactly what they are doing at all times.”80

Pentecostals themselves wasted little time in condemning the shortcomings of those who erred in their thinking and conduct and were guilty of “excesses.” “The devil plays football,” growled Daniel Opperman, with offenders who “grieve the Holy Spirit” and forget that “Holy Ghost baptism was given that we might have power to witness for Jesus in a sinful world.”81 “If you get angry, or speak evil, or backbite,” huffed one Pentecostal, “I care not how many tongues you may have, you have not the baptism with the Holy Spirit. You have lost your salvation.”82 In their minds, they had been raised up by God to evangelize the world in the end times; too much was at stake to tolerate the misdeeds of those who might betray the good testimony of the movement.

Nonetheless, the judgment pronounced by Simpson and others was long employed by critics of the movement as a stereotype of Pentecostal seekers. T at rational thinking and prescribed cultural decorum in worship should mark Christian behavior reflected a widespread conviction in the larger evan- gelical community, particularly with “satanic counterfeits” now threatening to undermine the spiritual security of believers.83 Nevertheless, the real issue cen- tered on glossolalic utterances more than on the emotional demonstrations in Pentecostal meetings, phenomena long seen on the trail of American revival- ism.84 T ose who scaled over the wall of respectable piety by engaging in the irrational act of tongues-speech would land in the devil’s domain and not in some newly restored dimension of biblical spirituality. Stories that Mormons spoke in tongues and that demons did the same in exorcisms in China did little to further the Pentecostal cause.85 Consequently, recognition that Pente- costals had waded further than others into the charismatic currents of New

80

“Fined $35,” Fergus Falls (Minn.) Daily Journal, March 11, 1905, 3.

81

Bro. Opperman, “Wayside Notes,” Apostolic Faith (Houston), October 1908, 8.

82

“To the Baptised Saints,” Apostolic Faith (L.A.), June-September 1907, 2, col. 1.

83

An apprehension expressed in Kenneth Mackenzie, Jr., Anti-Christian Supernaturalism (New York: Christian Alliance Publishing Co., 1901); also, Jessie Penn-Lewis, with Evan Rob- erts, War on the Saints (New York: T. E. Lowe, 1973; originally published in 1912).

84

Ann Taves, Fits, Trances, and Visions: Experiencing Religion and Explaining Experience from Wesley to James (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999), 328-41.

85

On Mormons and speaking in tongues, see “The Mormon Services and Habits,” Fort Wayne Daily Democrat, October 3, 1870, 1; “The Religious World,” Daily Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO), October 12, 1884, 3; “Prophecy Delivered in an Unknown Tongue,” Ogden Standard (Ogden, UT), April 13, 1908, 8; on demons and tongues, see John L. Nevius, Demon Possession and Allied T emes (New York: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1896), 46-47, 58-59.

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Testament Christianity and the Christian spiritual tradition would not find acceptance for many years to come.86

Despite the accusations of their opponents, Pentecostals readily professed that Christ — the “Giver” — stood at the heart of their faith, thereby confirming their pedigree in the Christocentrism of the evangelical movement and refusing to condone spiritual experiences that detracted from their chris- tocentric orientation.87 “The baptism with the Holy Ghost gives us power to testify to a risen, resurrected Saviour,” averred William Seymour. “Our affections are in Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.”88

Questions about the Gift of Interpretation

Even as Pentecostals affirmed the twofold usage of speaking in tongues, they struggled to articulate the way in which the gift of interpretation worked.89 Their quandary stemmed in part from the need to distinguish the perceived personal function of tongues in the Lukan literature (Acts 2:4, 10:46, 19:6), which denoted that Spirit baptism had occurred and remained in the life of the seeker, from the Pauline requirement that a manifestation of the gift of tongues in a church service necessitated interpretation (1 Cor 14:13).90 Questions naturally arose: Should the personal utterance of tongues be interpreted? Does the public use of the interpretive gift, expressed when people are gathered in worship, parallel the gift of prophecy in a way that makes their purposes virtually identical? The faithful generally answered “yes” to both questions. In England, the Anglican pastor and influential

86

Simon Chan offers insights in Pentecostal T eology and the Christian Spiritual Tradition (Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000); also, Kilian McDonnell, ed., Presence, Power, Praise: Documents on the Charismatic Renewal, 3 vols. (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1980).

87

For example, Charles Hodge, “The Unity of the Church Based on Personal Union with Christ,” in History, Essays, and Other Documents of the Sixth General Conference of the Evangelical Alliance, Held in New York, October 2-12, 1873, ed. Philip Schaff and S. Irenaeus Prime (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1874), 139-44. See also David W. Bebbington, The Dominance of Evangelicalism: The Age of Spurgeon and Moody (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 85-86; Wacker, Heaven, 87-89.

88

W. J. Seymour, “River of Living Water,” Apostolic Faith (L.A.), November 1906, 2, col. 2.

89

For example, [Susan A. Duncan], “The Field,” Trust, September 1908, 15.

90

For example, G. B. Cashwell, “Speaking in Other Tongues,” Bridegroom’s Messenger , November 1, 1907, 2.

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editor of Confidence, A. A. Boddy, explained: “Speaking in tongues when there is interpretation can be ‘prophecy’ (‘forthtelling’) and more. Peter on the Day of Pentecost says of the speaking in tongues: ‘This is that,’ quoting Joel, who said that they should ‘prophesy’ (Acts 11:17).”91

Pentecostals frequently heard interpretations of tongues. For example, in paying tribute to “some of the finest singers in the world baptized with the Holy Ghost,” Azusa Street pastor William Seymour happily added, “The Holy Spirit sings through [them] and some interpret right along while singing is going on.”92 But this was not the case everywhere: “I believe that the next thing that our Father is going to give us, is the gift to interpret,” wished E. G. Murrah in a letter to the Bridegroom’s Messenger.93 In certain revival contexts only one person received the gift of interpretation, as happened at the Calcutta revival.94 As Agnes Ozman contended, however, “This is the privilege of all who speak in tongues.” God would generously allow anyone to have the inter- pretation of their own tongues or those of others,95 a view in vogue over a century later.96

The content of the interpretations varied; they included warnings of the soon return of Christ, which were common across the Pentecostal Movement

91

Boddy, “Speaking in Tongues” — 2, 25. For later writers, see Ralph M. Riggs, The Spirit Himself (Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1949), 162-68; cf. Anthony D. Palma, The Holy Spirit: A Pentecostal Perspective (Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 2001), 227-32.

92

W. J. Seymour to “Brother Carothers,” July 12, 1906. Available at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center, Springfield, Missouri http://ifphc.org/.

93

E. G. Murrah, “The Unaskable and the Unthinkable Blessing,” Bridegroom’s Messenger, November 1, 1907, 3.

94

Max Wood Moorhead, “Pentecost at Calcutta,” Cloud of Witnesses to Pentecost in India, March 1908, 10.

95

Agnes N. O. LaBerge, What God Hath Wrought: Life and Work of Mrs. Agnes N. O. LaBerge (Chicago: Herald Publishing Co. Press, n.d.), 33. Ozman cautiously added, “as God wills.” Sim- ilarly, William Seymour wrote: “Beloved, if you do not know the language that you speak, do not puzzle yourself about it, for the Lord did not promise us He would tell us what language wewere speaking, but He promised us the interpretation of what we speak.” W. J. Seymour, “The Bap- tism with the Holy Ghost,” Apostolic Faith (L.A.), February-March 1907, 7, col. 1. See also Dagmar Gregersen, “Sister Dagmar Gregersen (interpreted by Mrs. Beruldson),” Confidence, June 30, 1908, 16. In India, Pandita Ramabai, director of the Mukti Mission, reported: “The girls, who have received the gift of tongues, are not using them for delivering scripture messages, except those who have received the gift of interpretation.” Ramabai, “Showers of Blessing,” Mukti Prayer-Bell, September 1907, 5; also Minnie F. Abrams, “Mukti Mission,” Mukti Prayer Bell, September 1907, 19.

96

For example, Oral Roberts, Unleashing the Power of Praying in the Spirit! (Tulsa: Harrison House, 1993), 48-53.

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for many years,97 calls for sinners to repent;

98

the reciting of “Scripture pas- sages, praises to God, [and] exaltation of Christ,”99 stringent calls for clean living,100 and even personal direction for another individual.

101

Indeed, such reports “from all quarters” about “utterances of tongues . . . attended with interpretations full of the praises of Jesus and of the shed blood . . . precludes the assumption that they could be from the devil,” avowed E. A. Spence with obvious relief in the New Acts.102

If they believed that prospective missionaries had been miraculously equipped to preach in the native languages, Pentecostals also pondered how this phenomenon related to the growing number of Spirit-filled believers who did not travel overseas as missionaries and to their audiences in the homeland. In the period under study, and in light of their observation of the meaning of tongues in Acts 2:11 and 10:46, the frequent hortatory nature of interpreta- tions, and the close association of that gift with the gift of prophecy, many Pentecostals concluded that a preacher could speak in tongues before an audi- ence and expect a Spirit-inspired interpretation to follow.

In her reflection on the Topeka revival, Lilian T istlethwaite recalled that on one occasion during a sermon, Charles Parham began speaking in tongues at length. When he finished, a man stood and said, “I am healed of my infidelity; I have heard in my own tongue the 23rd Psalm that I learned at my mother’s knee.”103 Parham justified this style of preaching by referring to Paul’s appeal to a prophecy of Isaiah: “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people“(Isa 28:11; 1 Cor 14:21 [AV]).104 T erefore, “God intends to use the speaking in other tongues in preaching to our people.”105

97

For example, Addie M. Otis, “The Apostolic Faith Movement,” Word and Work, February 1907, 51; untitled note, Apostolic Faith (L.A.), May 1907, 3, col. 4; J. Roswell Flower, “The Pentecostal Commission,” Pentecostal Evangel, June 12, 1920, 12.

98

Mrs. G. R. (Wilhelmine) Polman, quoted in Frodsham, With Signs, 208.

99

Untitled note, Apostolic Faith (L.A.), December 1906, 4, col. 3.

100

Moorhead, “Pentecost,” 10.

101

For example, [Mrs.] C. Beruldsen, “A Testimony from Edinburgh,” Confidence, April 1908, 12; also, Hoover, History, 53; S. P. Hamilton, “More About Revival,” India Alliance, June 1908, 137.

102

E. A. Spence, “Speaking with Tongues,” New Acts, March 1908, 5.

103

T istlethwaite, “History,” in Parham, Life, 62.

104

Parham continued this practice of preaching; see “Houstonians Witness the Performance of Miracles,” Houston Chronicle, August 13, 1905, 6.

105

Charles F. Parham, A Voice Crying in the Wilderness, 2d ed. (Baxter Springs, KS: Apostolic Faith Bible College, 1910; originally published in 1902), 31; cf. Cashwell, “Speaking,” 2.

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127

In Houston, leaders and students of the Bible Training School founded by Parham and later reopened by his followers106 preached in tongues conducted with the gift of interpretation as a “clearly supernatural ‘sign to unbelievers.’” “In such preaching the Spirit does not theorize, argue, or reason with men,” according to the Apostolic Faith (Houston), “but simply announces with authority God’s truth, and then commands or exhorts [sinners] to flee to Christ for refuge.” Proponents pointed to the marked success of this divine dictation in street meetings, which gathered “vast throngs and held what would otherwise have been a mob, spellbound, as they, like the people on the day of Pentecost, heard the ‘wonderful works of God.’”107

While this specific approach to preaching declined,

108

forms of it continued for many years with preachers occasionally interrupting their sermons with spontaneous expressions of tongues and interpretation or allowing others to do so. The British Pentecostal leader Donald Gee remembered this occurring during sermons of the well-known evangelist Smith Wigglesworth, who “would often become tangled in long, involved sentences. T en he would relieve the audience’s perplexity by speaking angelically in tongues which he always interpreted himself. It was all part of the sermon.” Because these inter- pretations sometimes contained “remarkable flashes of revelation,” Gee con- cluded that Wigglesworth “probably little understood the sheer theological depth and insight of his own words” as he responded to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.109

But with the line of demarcation between clergy and laity less pronounced in the earlier decades of Pentecostalism, especially when it came to participa- tion of the latter in worship services, the sermon could be a shared production. In keeping with Paul’s instruction in 1 Corinthians 14:26 (“When you come

106

For the decline of Parham’s influence, see B. F. Lawrence, The Apostolic Faith Restored (St. Louis: Gospel Publishing House, 1916), 67-68; Goff, Fields White, 128-46.

107

“The Bible Training School in Houston, Texas,” reprinted from an issue of the Apostolic Faith (Houston) (date not mentioned) in Cloud of Witnesses to Pentecost in India , August 1909, 11. The writer states: “Even the clerks in closed banks stopped their work and crowded to the doors to hear God’s call for repentance . . . while others crowded the second story windows in buildings near enough to hear the Word of God. By such preaching in tongues, a clearly super- natural ’sign to unbelievers,’ God is giving people in the closing days of this age a warning of the soon coming of His Son and leaving such as do not repent without excuse.” For another reference to the practice, see “Lebow Quit Faith,” Galveston Daily News , July 8, 1906, 11. Cf. Cashwell, “Speaking,” 2.

108

Evident in W. F. Carothers, “The Gift of Interpretation,” Latter Rain Evangel , October 1910, 7-10; this article originally appeared in the Apostolic Faith (Houston).

109

Donald Gee, “Smith Wigglesworth,” Redemption Tidings , March 13, 1964, 5-6.

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together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation”), some maintained that “if anyone is speaking or delivering a message or preaching the gospel, and the Holy Spirit desires to reveal something by prompting someone to speak in tongues and someone to interpret the same, or to prophesy, giving light at that point in the message,” wrote E. N. Bell, the first General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, “then this is scriptural, and it would be scriptural for the speaker of the regular message to stop for the promptings of the Holy Ghost to be brought forth.”110 Another author said that “when the Holy Spirit can work unhin- dered, the message in the tongue and its interpretation . . . becomes, and is, a part of the sermon being preached.”111 Although this practice could be found in wide sectors of Pentecostalism, it too declined as worship and preaching became increasingly structured and manifestations of the vocal gifts (especially tongues, interpretation, and prophecy) became less prevalent.112 Notwith- standing, interest in defining the “unique character” of Pentecostal preaching has persisted.113

New World of Realities

Pentecostals consciously strove to model the spirituality of first-century Christians and conform their own experiences to scriptural norms. Yet, the spiritual and missiological unity they enjoyed did not prevent the surfacing of different perspectives on the linguistic nature of tongues, prayer in the Spirit, and the gift of interpretation.114 The populist bent of the movement encouraged participants to tease out the details for themselves. Within a

110

E. N. Bell, Questions and Answers (Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1923), 81.

111

Frank Lindblad, The Spirit Which Is from God (Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1928), 174.

112

For an insightful case study of the tension between charisma and routinization within Pentecostalism, see Margaret M. Poloma, “Charisma and Structure in the Assemblies of God: Revisiting O’Dea’s Five Dilemmas,” in Church, Identity, and Change: T eology and Denomina- tional Structures in Unsettled Times, ed. David A. Roozen and James R. Nieman (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2005), 45-96.

113

Guy P. Duffield, Jr., Pentecostal Preaching (New York: Vantage Press, 1957), 5. The Alumni Association of L.I.F.E. Bible College in Los Angeles, California established in 1956 what may have been the first formal lectureship series for this purpose in the Pentecostal Movement; the above publication contains the inaugural lectures.

114

See James R. Goff, Jr. and Grant Wacker, eds., Portraits of a Generation: Early Pentecostal Leaders (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2002).

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129

few years of the initial broadcast of his influential connection of glossolalia with Spirit baptism, Parham found the stage crowded with an entire cast of enterprising leaders. After all, in their estimation, “There is no man at the head of this movement. God Himself is speaking in the earth.”115 Early Pentecostal literature exhibits a more textured theology of Spirit bap- tism than previously acknowledged, focused not just on “doing,” but on “being” as well. Even as first-century Christians received divine power to speak the “wonders of God” in “other tongues,” Pentecostals believed that the char- ism of prophetic speech would increase their Christlikeness through individual prayer and corporate worship. It was precisely here in their vulnerability of stepping beyond the rational into the Christian mystical arena of speaking glossolalic utterances that they told of an augmented intuition in the spiritual currents of their hearts and learned to obey the Spirit’s promptings as God bestowed gifts for the building of his church, re-forming them into being “partners with the Holy Spirit.”116 “It is being in the Spirit,” attested A. A. Boddy, “mightily under His control.”117

After the students at Topeka had begun to sing together in tongues such familiar songs as “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name,” remembered Lilian T istlethwaite, Parham entered the room and was astounded by what he saw and heard. Kneeling down, “he thanked God for the scene he was allowed to witness” and asked that should it be God’s will that he “stand for the baptism of the Holy Spirit . . . to give him the Bible evidence.”118 But more than the vocal manifestations, Parham realized something greater about this astonish- ing scene. The return of the apostolic power meant that one could almost hear the “whirring” of the clock of time as it readied to strike the last hour;119 and with that, the presence of the Spirit apparent in the glossolalic singing and

115

Untitled note, Apostolic Faith (L.A.), October-January 1908, 1, col. 4.

116

Untitled note, Apostolic Faith (L.A.), May 1908, 2, col. 2. In what amounts to a proposed statement of faith for the Apostolic Faith movement, Warren Carothers wrote: “Baptized persons are used by the Spirit as the instruments of His will in edifying the body and convincing the world, speaking through us as He wills, communing with our spirits in language unutterable without spiritual interpretation, and manifesting His presence and power and working His will through us in the charismatic gifts of the Spirit.” W. F. Carothers, “What the Movement Teaches,” Apostolic Faith (Houston), October 1908, 6.

117

Boddy, “Speaking with Tongues” — 2, 25.

118

T istlethwaite, “History,” in Parham, Life, 61.

119

The “warning sound of the Clock of Time” was a popular metaphor among premillennial- ists; see R. C., “Brunner, Texas, October 9, 1905,” Apostolic Faith (Melrose, KS), October- November 1905 (pages not numbered); A. B. Simpson, “The Clock of Time,” Living Truths, June 1907, 313-20.

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accompanying unity had lifted the students’ consciousness into the celestial realm. T ere, above the cultures that have divided mortals since the dispersion at Babel, they could join in the victory song of the redeemed in heaven, while receiving their marching orders for the battle in the here and now. Hence, “it is a mistake to think that the outward signs . . . are the most important part,” mused Alfred Street. “The real wonder is the new world of realities in which we live, the new possibilities that arise from our spirit being restored to its proper place under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.”120

Early beliefs about glossolalia reveal a consistently held role for adoration and prayerful intercession that brought an idealized sense of unity to the movement and enabled the faithful to withstand the impact of other changes in meaning. Spirit baptism with tongues-speech brought a jubilant encounter with God that transformed the Pentecostal vanguard, a dynamic event that represented the peak of the nineteenth-century radical evangelical quest for a deeper experience with the Holy Spirit.121 T eir stories tell how it enlarged the charismatic potential of their spirituality and practice of ministry, and signified a gift of supernatural empowerment for Christian witness in an unbelieving age.122

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