Phoebe Palmer

Phoebe Palmer (1807–1874).
Incidental Illustrations of the Economy of Salvation.
Boston: Henry V. Degen, 1855. (05908)

Phoebe Worrall Palmer, known as the “mother of the Holiness movement,” was raised as a devout Methodist in New York City. She and her husband, Dr. Walter Palmer, had four children, but three died in infancy, the last in a tragic fire. Palmer turned increasingly to the Bible for inspiration and experienced “entire sanctification.” The weekly devotional meetings she held in her home were the modest beginning of the Holiness movement, which took John Wesley’s doctrine of entire sanctification through the course of one’s life and modified it into “instantaneous sanctification.” In addition to preaching and working as a missionary in American cities, Palmer served as the publisher-editor of The Guide to Holiness, a magazine with an estimated circulation of 37,000. Exhibited is one of her eighteen books, introduced by a portrait of the author.

Listen as curator Dr. Eric White talks about Phoebe Palmer during a tour.

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