This article argues that English Puritanism transmitted certain forms of religious language and meditational practices from the Catholic religious orders to the Wesleys and to the Methodism of Phoebe Palmer. The focus will be on one form of Gospel meditation that is often mistakenly attributed to Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises, but which developed centuries earlier. These devotional forms were widespread within early modern Christianity and were self-consciously adopted by English Puritanism, which acknowledged their Catholic sources. Early Methodist reflections, sermons, and hymns show the direct influence of this Puritan devotional practice. Palmer engaged elements of these language forms at key moments in her religious discourse, most notably in her popular hymn, “The Crimson Wave” and in her influential altar exercise. Recognition of the way this language works can aid our understanding of the texts we read and our appreciation of their religious ground in seeking the presence of God.

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