Palmer's letter to Elias Brown
Phoebe Palmer (1807–1874).
Letter to Rev. Elias Bowen.
April 23, 1856.
In this letter written to her friend Rev. Elias Bowen (d. 1870), a New York Methodist, Phoebe Palmer described a vivid dream in which she fought with an enormous lion that had questioned her faith. Weeks after her dream Palmer received a stinging critique from Rev. Hiram Mattison (1811–1868), a Methodist writer who considered her “shorter way” to instantaneous Holiness to be “too easy.” To Palmer’s amazement, Mattison had used exactly “the same sort of questioning” as the lion in her dream. She concluded in this letter that the same God-given strength that had allowed her to vanquish the lion would sustain her through Mattison’s attacks.
Listen as curator Dr. Eric White talks about Phoebe Palmer during a tour.