The Elect Methodists is the first full analysis of Calvinistic Methodism, covering both England and Wales. Within the margins of a chronological canvas, it paints a thematic picture of a colourful movement that emerged as an alternative to the more familiar Methodist grouping led by John Wesley. Calvinistic Methodists were ‘elect’ because they were certain that God had chosen a peculiar people to save. No belief could have set them at a greater distance from the Wesleyan conviction that everyone stood on a level spiritual playing field before a God who harboured no favourites. The book’s ten chapters introduce Methodism as a whole and explain its context within the larger Evangelical movement. Yet with the emergence of larger-than-life figures, Calvinistic Methodism began to find its distinctive voice. Foremost among these voices were Howel Harris in Wales, and the eighteenth-century’s most sensational preacher, George Whitefield in England. Moreover, during its first decade such leaders moved easily and often between England and Wales and viewed their work as directed to the nation as a whole. This also was true of one of the most surprising players in the movement, a peeress of the realm, the Countess of Huntingdon. Although Wesley’s movement grew rapidly in England, Calvinistic Methodism – after some early successes – did not. While its organised growth in England was largely fleeting, the area of sustained Calvinist advance was in the Welsh-speaking parts of Wales. Indeed, the religious denomination ultimately formed in Wales was (and is) the only branch of Methodism that has ever called itself Calvinistic. The publication of The Elect Methodists is happily juxtaposed between the bicentenary of the establishing of the Calvinistic Methodist Church of Wales in 1811, and the tercentenary of the birth of George Whitefield in 1714.
The Elect Methodists is the first full-length academic study of Calvinistic Methodism, a movement that emerged in the eighteenth century as an alternative to the better known Wesleyan grouping. While the branch of Methodism led by John Wesley has received significant historical attention, Calvinistic Methodism, especially in England, has not. The book charts the sources of the eighteenth-century Methodist revival in the context of Protestant evangelicalism emerging in continental Europe and colonial North America, and then proceeds to follow the fortunes in both England and Wales of the Calvinistic branch, to the establishing of formal denominations in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
John Wesley and George Whitefield are remembered as founders of Methodism, one of the most influential movements in the history of modern Christianity. Characterized by open-air and itinerant preaching, eighteenth-century Methodism was a divisive phenomenon, which attracted a torrent of printed opposition, especially from Anglican clergymen. Yet, most of these opponents have been virtually forgotten. Anti-Methodism and Theological Controversy in Eighteenth-Century England is the first large-scale examination of the theological ideas of early anti-Methodist authors. By illuminating a very different perspective on Methodism, Simon Lewis provides a fundamental reappraisal of the eighteenth-century Church of England and its doctrinal priorities. For anti-Methodist authors, attacking Wesley and Whitefield was part of a wider defence of 'true religion', which demonstrates the theological vitality of the much-derided Georgian Church. This book, therefore, places Methodism firmly in its contemporary theological context, as part of the Church of England's continuing struggle to define itself theologically.
As well as outlining the shape of Welsh religious history generally, this volume describes the development of Calvinistic Methodist thought up to and beyond the secession from the Established Church in 1811, and the way in which the Evangelical Revival impacted the Older Dissent to create a vibrant popular Nonconformity. Along with analysing aspects of theology and doctrine, the narrative assesses the contribution of such key personalities as William Williams Pantycelyn, Thomas Charles of Bala andThomas Jones of Denbigh, and the Nonconformists Titus Lewis, Joseph Harris ‘Gomer’, George Lewis, David Rees and Gwilym Hiraethog. Following the notorious ‘Treachery of the Blue Books’ of 1847 and the Religious Census of 1851, Anglicanism regained ground, and among the themes treated in the latter chapters are the influence of High Church Tractarianism and the Broad Church ‘Lampeter Theology’ in the parishes. The volume concludes by assessing the intellectual culture of evangelicalism personified by Lewis Edwards and Thomas Charles Edwards, and describes the challenges of Darwinism, philosophical Idealism and a more critical attitude to the biblical text.
This third edition of Historical Dictionary of Methodism presents the history of Methodism through a detailed chronology, an introductory essay, an extensive bibliography, and over 500 cross-referenced dictionary entries on important institutions and events, doctrines and activities, and especially persons who have contributed to the church and also broader society in the three centuries since it was founded. This book is an ideal access point for students, researchers, or anyone interested in the history of the Methodist Church.
The evangelical or Methodist revival had a major impact on Welsh religion, society and culture, leading to the unprecedented growth of Nonconformity by the nineteenth century, which established a very clear difference between Wales and England in religious terms. Since the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist movement did not split from the Church to form a separate denomination until 1811, it existed in its early years solely as a collection of local society meetings. By focusing on the early societies in south-west Wales, this study examines the grass roots of the eighteenth-century Methodist movement, identifying the features that led to its subsequent remarkable success. At the heart of the book lie the experiences of the men and women who were members of the societies, along with their social and economic background and the factors that attracted them to the Methodist cause.
A former Catholic priest gives an account of his experiences as a Methodist lay preacher, and advocates for joint membership — Catholic and Methodist (the church of his ancestors). "A spiritual journal," the book includes 40 sermons as well as references to his religious life and to Church pronouncements that support his thesis — joint membership, which he sees as a path to re-unity in the Church Jesus founded.
The evangelical revival of the eighteenth century was a renewal movement of international proportions. David Ceri Jones offers a lively, accessible and informative introduction to its roots and main events, personalities and ideas, and assesses its wider impact.