THE AZUSA STREET REVIVAL
The gift of languages is given with the commission, "Go ye into all the world and
preach the gospel to every creature." The Lord has given languages to the unlearned
Greek, Latin, Hebrew, French, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Zulu and languages of
Africa, Hindu and Bengali and dialects of India, Chippewa and other languages of the
Indians, Esquimaux, the deaf mute language and, in fact the Holy Ghost speaks all the
languages of the world through His children.________ A minister says that God showed him
twenty years ago that the divine plan for missionaries was that they might receive the
gift of tongues either before going to the foreign field or on the way. It should be a
sign to the heathen that the message is of God. The gift of languages can only be viewed
as the Spirit gives utterance. It cannot be learned like the native tongues, but the Lord
takes control of the organs of speech at will. It is emphatically, God's message. (Ibid)
Of course, as subsequent events show, no real human languages were miraculously imparted to facilitate Pentecostal missionary activity; and this was to lead to what should be familiar to us by now- the Pentecostal/Charismatic "changing horses in midstream"-the substitution of the miraculous gift of languages by the novelty of a private prayer language. This was no doubt due largely to the fact that none of the initial missionaries sent out from Azusa Street were to benefit from their so called
gift of tongues in spreading the Pentecostal religion to foreigners. They subsequently had to rely on the more pedestrian and time tried method of actually studying foreign languages.
If we are to believe the original chroniclers of the movement, the tongue speaking practiced at Azusa Street bore no resemblance to the gift of tongues which are recorded in the New Testament-on the contrary, there is present a very explicit mediumistic element in Azusa Street from the very beginning:
You do not have to strain to interpret. You do not use your mind at all. The Lord God uses your vocal organs and the words come out without your having anything to do with it. When God is speaking, no flesh can take a part in it. ..(edition 5)
Without wishing to be repetitive, I would invite the reader to recall the words of Pope Benedict XIV which we have already cited twice, with regards to ecstasy and extraordinary phenomena, to which what is described in the above quote certainly belongs:
"Ecstasy is of diabolical origin when the mind and the speech of the ecstatic are confused, as if he were being spurred on by someone else, or as if another were speaking through him (cited)
Also present among the alleged miracles was the not uncommon occult practice of "automatic writing" which, if we may recall, was practiced on occasion by the Irvingites, at Shiloh, and by Agnes Ozman. Also present among the "miraculous manifestations" was another phenomenon directly related to occult mediumship, the ability to play musical instruments without any prior musical training or perceived ability:
The Lord has given the gift of writing in unknown languages, also the gift of playing on instruments. (The Apostolic Faith, edition 1)
Azusa Street was undoubtedly the vehicle for the propagation of this occult
method of mediumism, and it proliferated far and wide, thanks, no doubt, to the international acclaim that the "revival" had by now acquired:
"I am still talking and writing in tongues. A missionary interpreted what I have been writing in Syriac and Armenian. I was singing Chinese one night, a missionary said. I am busy every day and going from place to place. Strong opposition from many, but God gives the victory. Glory!" Andrew G. Johnson, Address, 48 Skofde, Sweden (ibid, edition 6)
"I received the Holy Ghost in San Jose, in November, and came to Kelseyville, in December. And when I received the January paper and read what the Lord was doing in other places, the power of God came on me mightily. I was alone and was lifted to my feet and stood on tiptoe with both arms extended above my head, and began to speak in tongues and to interpret, which I never had done before except a very little. Since I came here, one lady has received the Holy Ghost with a tongue, also the gift of writing some unknown language and the deaf mute signs. Another lady came from Healdsburg and has also received the Holy Ghost with a tongue, also the gift of writing some unknown language and the deaf mute signs. " (ibid,6)
"One sister received the gift of writing and also the interpretation of her languages. She has spoken and interpreted the soon coming of Jesus."-Elizabeth M. May, Whittier, Cal. (ibid,6)
In Calcutta, India.
55 Creek Row-God is spreading Pentecost here in Calcutta, and thirteen or fourteen missionaries and other workers have received it. The Spirit is giving the interpretation, song and writing in tongues, and other wonderful manifestations of His presence among us. O we do praise Him that the way ever opened for us to come to India. (ibid, edition 7)
Father Poulain, S.J., a priest renowned in the Catholic Churchfor his authority on Mystical discernment, recorded the case of a trance medium performing the same kind of automatic writing as that practiced by the adherents of Azusa Street:
..We know already that in the somnambulistic state the memory undergoes a prodigious development at times. In the case of Helene Smith, the imagination was equally powerful; during her crises, she had created a new language, of 160 words, which she spoke fluently, but which she did not understand when she was not in a trance. She claimed that this was the language in use on the planet Mars. (Poulain, opus cit., pge. 69)
Although none of the "Azusites", as far as I know, claimed to have received a new language from the planet Mars, it can, I feel, be safely inferred from what Father Poulain has concluded, that most of what the adherents of the revival claimed to be a new language was in reality the fruit of an overactive imagination. However, this in no way mitigates the seriousness of indulging in an outright occult method of divination, which, as a direct consequence of spiritism, was forbidden by the Catholic Church's magisterium:
...a decree of the Holy Office in 1898 explicitly forbade the practice of automatic writing in which the psychic allows his hand to be guided to take down messages, the content of which is independent of his volition...(Father Herbert Thurston, S.J., Spiritism, Copyright (c) Trinity Communications 1995. The Catholic Resource Network Trinity Communications Manassas, VA 22110 )
Therefore, another problematic aspect has reared its head for those who trace a large part of their spiritual heritage from Azusa Street. How is it possible that what they regard as a "true and totally unique renewal of Pentecost" (I am certainly not making this phraseology up out of thin air) and a "mighty work of the Holy Spirit" had at its core very manifest and unmistakable occult and mediumistic elements? With regards to the automatic writing, this was ultimately admitted in the tenth edition of The Apostolic
We do not read anything in the Word about writing in unknown languages, so we do not encourage that in our meetings. Let us measure everything by the Word, that all fanaticism may be kept out of the work. We have found it questionable whether any real good has come out of such writing. (edition 10)
So, in a somewhat roundabout way, with no explanations given, the official journal of the New Pentecost all of a sudden repudiates what it had been openly promulgating throughout its previous editions!
(Nevertheless, the occult form of divination known as "automatic writing" has
gained a certain popularity among Catholic Charismatics of late-the names of Fathers
Laurentin, Edward O'Connor, Ken Roberts, and the late Emiliano Tardif, all leading
proponents of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. They have all embraced, contrary to
declarations by the Church, the false "Orthodox" mystic Vassula Ryden, who
openly engages in this forbidden practice of occult mediumship-purporting to be the medium
of Jesus Himself!)
In the available editions of The Apostolic Faith, one can also read false prophecies uttered by the devotees of Azusa Street, which characteristically concern the Parousia. It is important to reemphasize the fact that those involved in the Azusa Street revival all regarded it as an authentic "restoration" of the Apostolic gifts of the Holy Spirit, as the Second Coming of Christ was literally imminent:
The Lord showed me the earthquake in San Francisco just a year before the day it came to pass. He showed me an earthquake coming to Los Angeles. He showed
** eagle flying over Los Angeles and lighting on the highest building, and as it lit, the building began to crumble. I asked the Lord what it meant, and He said: "The eagle means death and the crumbling is an earthquake. There will be a violent shock in the morning and one at night. There will be mangling and tangling with wires, and the street car rails will bend and twist, and the telegraph poles will come down." He showed me the cars and people mangled up together and the live wires setting fire to the buildings. I asked Him if this was coming to pass, to show it to me again and He showed it to me again.
And I saw a death angel flying over the city and fire falling on the city. The Lord
showed me the land was going to sink and I saw water. Then five weeks after this
earthquake, He said that Pasadena would be shaken, and many cities would be destroyed, and
Chicago would be one of them. I fasted two days and asked the Lord when it was coming, and
He told me: "It will come on Sunday," but He did not tell me when it would be.
He says: "Be ready and look for it." I believe He will either save us or come
and catch us up to heaven. The Lord said to me ten years ago: "If you are faithful,
you shall never see death." I said: "Lord, when are you coming?" He said:
ready when I come, saith the Lord." (The Apostolic Faith, edition2)
One wonders how Azusa Street and its' spiritual offspring can be considered as truly the work of the Holy Spirit, when Sacred Scripture itself establishes the criteria for true and false prophets-(e.g., Deuteronomy 18:22)-and the woman who uttered this prophecy was certainly not a true prophet of God; yet she was so considered by the supposedly "anointed" leadership of Azusa Street. When God begins a work truly His, He will not allow such mistakes. Of course, we should not be too severe in our judgments of such people. They were obviously led astray by the expectant, almost
feverish spirituality which was prevalent among the adherents of the new sect.
Another aspect of the revival in its' incipient stage, was the classical Protestant animosity towards Catholicism-or, as The Apostolic Faith would put it, to Romanism:
Sister Wettosh, a German sister of Pasadena, who was in the darkness of Romanism and in great physical suffering about a year ago, but who has marvelously saved and healed, has been baptized with the Holy Ghost, received the gift of tongues, and has gone out to carry this Gospel. Her destination was Reno, Neb. (edition 1)
A young man who a year ago was in the chain gang, is now baptized with the Holy Ghost and preaching everywhere. He was a Catholic but God took all the Romanism out of him. He is telling the Catholics to get their own Bibles and the Protestants to get to God and not lean on preachers (ibid)
Rev. Adolph Rosa, a Portuguese brother from Cape Verde Islands, was baptized with the Holy Ghost in Oakland and is now in Los Angeles preaching the full Gospel. He was a Catholic and his father had expected to have him educated as a Catholic priest; but God had His hand upon him. He came to America, was converted from the power of Romanism and captivity about six years ago in a Portuguese Methodist church in New Bedford, Mass., and entered the ministry of the Methodist church as a missionary to the Portuguese in the state of California. He was sanctified about four years ago, and is now conducting Pentecostal offerings in the People's church in Los Angeles. (edition 2)
Apparently, by the time the third edition of The Apostolic Faith was published, a more ecumenical sentiment had made its' way into the movement, and "Romanists" could now be referred to as Catholics, even though their religion remained a "darkness":
A Catholic who received Pentecost
Bro. Lee, whom God so wonderfully saved from darkness and a life of sin, and baptized him with the Holy Ghost, testified, "I praise God for this old barn. This is my confession box right here. My priest was Jesus Christ. I praise God for justifying me and sanctifying me wholly, and baptizing me with the Holy Ghost. Jesus Christ is the head of my church. It was Jesus who did the work for me. When the Holy Ghost comes in He speaks for Himself and sings His own songs. Friends, I did not go to college to get this language. It is the Holy Ghost that speaks. He can talk the languages of the nations. It makes no difference what judges or policemen say, this Irishman is saved by the grace of God. Glory to God. It settles a man when he gets the baptism. It gives you a sound mind. This salvation keeps me out of the saloons and jails and red
light district. Jesus Christ gave his life for us that we might be saved. Glory to God for a salvation that keeps me night and day. This means persecution. Hallelujah." (edition 3)
I would be curious to know if those Catholic Charismatics who are proud to trace their
spiritual lineage to Azusa Street-which they must undoubtedly do if they do not wish to
distort historical fact-would concede that the Holy Spirit, in his new
"outpouring" would actually lead individuals out of the one true Church founded
by Jesus Christ, and into a heretical sect. After all, a Catholic, in order to remain a
Catholic, must believe that the "Roman" (a.k.a. "Romanist") Catholic
Church is exclusively that Church. Can Charismatics really believe that the Holy Spirit,
who is the Divine Witness
to the truth, would lead people into the error of false religion? However, since the Catholic Church barely took note of the existence of the Azusa Street revival during the first years of the twentieth century, most of the criticism of such phenomena which took place at Azusa Street (and by association in the sister denominations throughout the world ) was directed by the secular press, as articulated in this by now famous article published in the Los Angeles Times of April 18th, 1906:
Breathing strange utterances and mouthing a creed which it would seem no sane mortal could understand, the newest religious sect has started in Los Angeles. Meetings are held in a tumble-down shack on Azusa Street, near San Pedro Street, and devotees of the weird doctrine practice the most fanatical rites, preach the wildest theories and work themselves into a state of mad excitement in their peculiar zeal. Colored people and a sprinkling of whites compose the congregation, and night is made hideous in the neighborhood by the howlings of the worshippers who spend hours swaying forth and back in a nerve-racking [sic] attitude of prayer and supplication. They claim to have
"the gift of tongues;" and to be able to comprehend the babel. Such a startling claim has never yet been made by any company of fanatics, even in Los Angeles, the home of almost numberless creeds. Sacred tenets, reverently mentioned by the orthodox believer, are dealt with in a familiar, if nor irreverent, manner by these latest religionists.
Defies An old colored exhorter, blind in one eye, is the major-domo of the company.
With his stony optic fixed on some luckless unbeliever, the old man yells his defiance and challenges an answer. Anathemas are heaped upon him who shall dare to gainsay the utterances of the preacher. Clasped in his big fist the colored brother holds a miniature Bible from which he reads at intervals one or two words-never more. After an hour spent in exhortation the brethren [sic] present are invited to join in a "meeting
of prayer, song and testimony." Then it is that pandemonium breaks loose, and
the bounds of reason are passed by those who are "filled with the spirit," whatever that may be.
"You-oo-oo gou-loo-loo come under the bloo-oo-oo boo-loo;" shouts an old
colored "mammy;" in a frenzy of religious zeal. Swinging her arms wildly about
her, she continues with the strangest harangue ever uttered. Few of her words are
intelligible, and for the most part her testimony contains the most outrageous jumble of
syllables, which are listened to with awe by the company.
Let Tongues Come Forth
One of the wildest of the meetings was held last night, and the highest pitch of excitement was reached by the gathering, which continued to "worship" until nearly midnight. The old exhorter urged the "sisters" to let the "tongues come forth" and the women gave themselves over to a riot of religious fervor. As a result a buxom dame was overcome with excitement and almost fainted.
Undismayed by the fearful attitude of the colored worshipper, another black women [sic]
jumped to the floor and began a wild gesticulation, which ended in a gurgle of wordless
prayers which were nothing less than shocking. "She's speaking in unknown
tongues;" announced the leader, in ah [sic] awed whisper, "keep on sister."
The sister continued until it was necessary to assist her to a seat because of her bodily
One who possesses even a passing familiarity with the mystical life and theology of the Catholic Church would be hard put to attempt to extrapolate from these scenes of obviously dionysiac frenzy anything even remotely resembling the Pentecost as described by St. Luke in the Acts of the Apostles, by the Apostle Paul in his epistles. Nowhere in the New Testament or the early Church Fathers do we read of any of the authentic "charismata" or gifts of the Holy Spirit coming about in this manner. Rather, one is reminded of the Convulsionary Jansenists, or a wild group of Santeria practicioners in frenzied anticipation of being "mounted" by the so called saints. Nevertheless, Azusa was the means whereby the Pentecostal movement was able to broadcast its presence to the world.
It was not only the secular press that was to voice opposition. Many conservative Protestant clergymen were to engage in criticism of the movement with a polemical vehemence that would make the harshest auto de fe appear by contrast as an invitation to a Kiwani's picnic, as is documented in a book on Pentecostalism by Michael L. Brown entitled From Holy Laughter to Holy Fire :
G. Campbell Morgan described the Azusa Street activities as "the last vomit of Satan."
R.A. Torrey declared that this new Pentecostal movement was "emphatically not of God, and founded by a Sodomite." (Michael L. Brown, From Holy Laughter to Holy Fire: America on the Edge of Revival, Destiny-Image, 1997, pp. 197-198)
(Torrey is not referring to Seymour here, but to Parham, who was charged with and convicted of multiple counts of sodomizing several of his male pupils, for which he was to spend several years in prison. It was never made clear if Parham was actually guilty of the crimes or the victim of false accusations. )
H.A. Ironside said both the holiness and Pentecostal movements were "disgusting ... delusions and insanities." In 1912 he said of their meetings "pandemonium's where exhibitions worthy of a madhouse or a collection of howling dervishes," were causing a "heavy toll of lunacy and infidelity."
W.A. Godbey said of the Azusa Street participants "Satan's preachers, jugglers, necromancers, enchanters, magicians, and all sorts or mendicants," and he claimed the movement was the result of spiritualism.
Clarence Larkin: "But the conduct of those possessed, in which they fall to the ground and writhe in contortions, causing disarrangement's of the clothing and disgraceful scenes, is more a characteristic of demon possession, than a work of the Holy Spirit. From what has been said we see that we are living in "Perilous Times," and that all about us are "Seducing Spirits," and that they will become more active as the Dispensation draws to its close, and that we must exert the greatest care lest we be led astray." (Ibid)
Nothwithstanding the vituperation employed above by these members of the Protestant
clergy, perhaps the harshest condemnation of Azusa Street was forthcoming from the one who
was the indubitable "theological father of the event", none other than Charles
F. Parham himself! Despite his initial enthusiasm with the revival, for reasons which are
not totally clear, Parham later denounced the Azusa Street Revival in the strongest terms
I hurried to Los Angeles, and ... I found conditions even worse than I had anticipated ... spiritualistic controls, saw people practicing hypnotism at the altar over candidates seeking baptism, though many were receiving the real baptism of the Holy Ghost...Let me speak plainly with regard to the work as I have found it here. I found hypnotic influences, familiar spirit influences, spiritualistic influences, mesomeric (sic) influences, and all kinds of spells, spasms, falling in trances...The Holy Ghost does nothing that is unnatural or unseemingly, and any strained exertion of body, mind or
voice is not the work of the Holy Spirit, but of some familiar spirit, or other influence ... (Mrs. Charles Parham, The Life of Charles F. Parham, Commercial Printing Co., Birmingham, Alabama 1930, pp. 163-170 as quoted in Roberts Liardon, opus cited. pge. )
As time went on, Parham's criticisms were to become more and more strident, and he died having virtually repudiated the work at Azusa Street:
He never changed his opinion. To the end of his life, Parham, often called "the father of Pentecostalism," denounced Azusa Street as a case of "spiritual power prostituted." Thus the "father of Pentecostalism" roundly rejected the Azusa Street meetings as phony, manipulated, and demonic, even though practically all Pentecostal denominations trace their heritage directly from those meetings! (David W. Cloud, opus cited)
This is not an insignificant fact when considering the nature of the Pentecostal revival. How is it possible that the Holy Spirit would inaugurate a work which according to both Pentecostals and Charismatics is nothing less than a second Pentecost-under the undisputed leadership of Charles Parham, yet allow His chosen instrument, Parham, to later repudiate the one event that was most responsible for bringing this movement to
world-wide attention and fruition? The Holy Spirit is not a capricious or arbitrary Spirit; He is the Spirit sent by the Son Who has been poured into the hearts of the faithful, through whom we have access to the Father. He does not choose His human instruments for a great work that is preeminently His only to discard them.
The history of the Church, especially of the Church in the apostolic generation
immediately subsequent to Pentecost, provides us with a scenario which is totally the
contrary to what was to take place after the beginnings of Azusa Street. It is important
to recognize that there were differences of opinion and disciplinary practice among the
Apostles, yet they were dealt with in response to the true promptings and intervention of
the Holy Spirit, as was the case with the vision of St. Peter in Acts X, in the Council of
Jerusalem in Acts XV. St. Paul's forceful yet charitable and edifying upbraiding of St.
Peter in Galatians II is no exception. Throughout the New Testament, unanimity of heart,
mind, doctrine and sacrament is the rule practiced by the Apostles and their closest
collaborators and successors. Nowhere do we find their unbridled criticism or vituperation
of one another. This is also true with regards to the great saints and true movements the
Catholic Church; there is no turning upon one's own, no "cannibalizing"
criticism among former colleagues and collaborators, as was the case with Azusa Street and
its leading lights.
Subsequent to the outbreak at Azusa Street, Charles Parham was to try his hand at any number of activities:
In 1908 Parham raised funds to travel to the Holy Land on an archaeological expedition to search for the lost ark of the covenant. He claimed to the press that he had information about its location and that his finding the ark would fit into the end times biblical scheme. By December he announced that he had sufficient funds and he traveled to New York allegedly to begin his journey to Jerusalem. He never purchased a ticket to the Middle East and returned home dejectedly in January, claiming he was robbed after arriving in New York. (David Cloud, op. cit., part 1)
Apparently, Parham never got over the British Israelitism so vociferously propagandized by his elder associate, Sandford; and was not only interested in that doctrine and its' attendant "pyramid occultism", but was a freemason as well, which would explain, to a degree, his fascination with the lost ark and its' mystico- magical relationship to the end times. (Thus there is a possible relationship point of convergence between the Pentecostal movement at its incipient stage and the current fanatical "Armageddon watchers" who seem to think that they can precipitate the Second Coming and the rapture by helping in the search for the ark of the covenant.) And the fact that the founding father of the "New Pentecost" was also a freemason should cause some consternation among the more Catholic members of the renewal.
Parham ended his days in a rather indecorous manner, especially as someone who gets most of the credit for the founding of Pentecostalism:
The man whom Seymour extolled as his "father in the Gospel of the Kingdom" went on to spend "the later years of his life as an avid supporter of the Ku Klux Klan." (Hanegraaff, op. cit., pge 128, quoting Vinson Synan's The Holiness-Pentecostal Movement in the United States, pp. 109, 180) Parham's Klan associations are well documented, and they certainly predate Azusa Street and the Topeka "outpouring." These facts about Parham are not simply gratuitous ad hominem attacks, as some might contend. When one is dealing with putative works of the Holy Spirit, all facts regarding the individuals involved are to be considered, since one is exhorted by Sacred Scripture to "put all things to the test". One should also bear in mind the
words of Our Lord regarding good springs not bringing forth bad water, and good trees not giving good fruit, since supporters of Pentecostalism and Charismatic Renewal never cease to point to the good fruits of the movement from the beginning. There are direct causal and historical links between Parham, Azusa Street, and the Charismatic Renewal movements, which are admitted by most prominent Catholic renewalists, and there is no point in trying to disassociate the present day movement from the "spirit" of its founders, whatever that may be. However, it has been my experience when dealing with certain true believers in the movement, that no fact or reality will suffice to dislodge them from their firm belief that all of this was in reality a New Pentecost, unique in history and world-wide scope.
Parham was not the only prominent Pentecostal pioneer to publicly repudiate Azusa Street. Among its detractors we also find one of the founders of the Assemblies of God, William H. Durham, who originally received his "tongue experience" at Azusa Street:
But Parham was not the last adversary Seymour would confront. ..one of his early white supporters, William H. Durham, also returned to Los Angeles. Seymour, of course, invited him to preach. But Durham, like Parham a few years earlier, chose the occasion to launch a polemical attack on Seymour. He argued that the "finished work of Christ on the cross" required a supplementary batptism by the Spirit, but that sanctification was not a "second work of grace." ...Seymour himself, and most of the members of the Azusa Street congregation, were devastated. Durham had undercut the entire theological rationale for the revival. It was as though a visiting preacher had spoken from Martin Luther's pulpit in Wittenberg and told his listeneres that "justification by faith", the key idea of the Protestant Reformation, was not really true after all. (Harvey Cox, opus cited, pge. 62)
As Cox notes, Seymour began to suspect that, despite all the theological disputes, the relatively uninhibited racial mixing then prevalent at Azusa Street may have been behind much of the criticism, and this would eventually lead Seymour to rethink his position on tongues as "initial evidence" of the Spirit baptism:
During his first years at Azusa Street, he had put central emphasis on the gift of tongues both as the clearest evidence of baptism in the Spirit and as a harbinger of the Last Days. But now he began to change his mind. Finding that some people could speak in tongues and continue to abhor their black fellow Christians convinced him that it was not tongue speaking but the dissolution of racial barriers that was the surest sign of the Spirit's pentecostal presence...(Ibid, pge. 63)
Therefore, the overt racism of individuals like Sandford, Parham, etc., was not to be overcome by the new Pentecostal outpouring-if anything it would harden, eventually leading to Azusa Street becoming a nearly all black congregation. Another collaborator of Seymour's, Charles H. Mason, was to form the largest mostly black Pentecostal denomination, The Church of God in Christ. Other devotees of Azusa Street would separate to form all white or white dominated congregations, including the aforementioned Durham who was instrumental in founding The Assemblies of God, the largest trinitarian Pentecostal denomination in the world.
The irony in all this is that the tongues of the true Pentecost, as we have seen,
served to unify the Church and unite the elect, regardless of language or racial barriers,
thus undoing the divisive confusion of languages at the tower of Babel, as St. Gregory of
Nazianzen expressed in that passage which was previously cited:
"But as the old Confusion of tongues was laudable, when men who were of one language in wickedness and impiety, even as some now venture to be, were building the Tower; for by the confusion of their language the unity of their intention was broken up, and their undertaking destroyed; so much more worthy of praise is the present miraculous one. For being poured from One Spirit upon many men, it brings them again into harmony. "
Although there is no question that racial animosity played a role in the divisiveness which was to plague Azusa Street and its' offshoots, the fact is that there were many other elements present there which would serve to bring the place's orthodoxy into question. The hyper-spiritual atmosphere ultimately led to Azusa Street being a stopping off place for spirit mediums, hypnotists, fortune tellers and all manner of quacks and frauds. Although Seymour protested more and more against the invasion of his congregation by such individuals, there was little he could do to stem the tide of occultism and suggestion which was now submerging the renowned revival site. Yet,
Seymour cannot be absolved from all responsibility for such a state of affairs. This was, after all, partly due to the uncritical acceptance of any and every strange experience and paroxysm purported to be a manifestation of the Holy Spirit.