This is the story of one of the smaller Christian churches in Ireland from its introduction in the middle of the 18th century to the present time. Never numbering much more than 60,000 people, it has made a contribution to the life of the country greater than its numbers would have suggested.
If the first volume of this work was good, this, we think, is better. The interest attaching to Wesley's movements is lacking, but the material is fresher; it relates to subjects more entirely new and unfamiliar to 'the general or even to the Methodist reader. The work is very well done-clear, succinct, and well-written. The most characteristic points in the history of Irish Methodism are included within the scope of this volume. The separation, as to certain points, between English and Irish Methodism, after the death of Methodism, is here explained. Irish Methodism was identified, far more strictly than English Methodism ever was, with the English Church. In Ireland there was no such organized independence of the Church of England as English Methodism maintained in London and in Bristol. Irish Methodism included no Dissenters nor .any tendencies in the direction of Dissent. It was deeply Tory in Church and State. Hence when English Methodism separated itself from the sacraments of the Church of England after 1795, Irish Methodism refused to follow the example. Similarly, the new regulations by which an ecclesiastically defined status was in 1797 given to the laity of English Methodism were not accepted in Ireland. Irish Methodism, in fact, insisted on the privileges of "home rule." Mr. Crookshank lets us understand that to a certain extent this was the all but inevitable result of the special circumstances of Ireland in Church and State, though he evidently regrets that Ireland was so tardy in following the English example. Twenty years later, Ireland took the step which English Methodism took in 1795.... Many distinctions, and some more or less serious divergences, of the present day are the consequences of the initial divergences of ninety years ago. Nevertheless, all the time the English Conference has embraced in its general jurisdiction the Irish province of Methodism, and a due proportion of the "Legal Conference," the " Legal Hundred, ' have always been Irish Ministers nominated by the Irish Sub-Conference. We say sub-conference, for affiliated conference would be an improper and misleading description. He who desires to understand these matters in their historical detail must study Mr. Crookshank's history.... The "Primitive Wesleyans," or "Clonites," were absorbed into the Wesleyan Methodist, or, as the Irish prefer to call it, the Methodist Church. These subjects, however, we must add, though of fundamental importance, occupy comparatively but a small part of this interesting volume. The histories of such men as Gideon Ouseley and as the founder of the Shillington family, and of such women as Mrs. Tighe, with many another less celebrated but not less worthy or useful, make up the tissue of the volume, which we warmly recommend to our readers. --The London Quarterly and Holborn Review, Volume 66