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All articles in category Historical

November 2016
Articles > Historical

Gideon Ouseley (2)

Continued from Gideon Ouseley (1) 1798 was the year of the Irish rebellion against English rule, with Ireland in the grip of violence. When Gideon was away on his gospel travels, Harriet was left at home; and it may have been the thought of danger to her that caused them to move to Sligo, a traditionally Protestant town. There he came into contact with the Methodist superintendent minister, William Hamilton. The two men grew in mutual respect. Hamilton himself was a man with a missionary heart, a rough spoken but powerful preacher, with a striking way of fixing truth in men’s hearts. Dr Thomas Coke...

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October 2016
Articles > Historical

Julius Köbner (1)

Julius Köbner, Johann Gerhardt Oncken and Gottfrid Wilhelm Lehmann were three great German Baptist pioneers in the European continent. They became known as the Baptist cloverleaf. Köbner became Oncken’s right-hand man and his closest friend in the Baptist church in Hamburg. The story begins in Odense, Denmark. Köbner’s parents were immigrants from Poland and his father Isaak a Jewish rabbi. Julius was born on 6 June 1806 and was first named Solomon. He was the first of Isaak and Hanne’s nine children. His parents intended him to become a rabbi too. Study The Köbner family had a dear friend called Israel, who lived about 3...

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October 2016
Articles > Historical

Gideon Ouseley (1)

Who was Gideon Ouseley? He was an early nineteenth century evangelist in Ireland, given a roving commission by the Irish Methodist conference. He had a particular calling to preach the gospel in the Irish Gaelic language, to a predominantly Roman Catholic peasant population. As a Methodist, he was of course Arminian — sometimes belligerently so! There is a good biography about him by William Arthur, an Irish Methodist minister of a slightly later age; and also helpful material in Charles Cruickshank’s three-volume History of Methodism in Ireland. Gideon was born 24 February 1762 at Dunmore in County Galway. His family was of Anglo-Irish descent. His...

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October 2016
Articles > Historical

Whatever happened at Salters’ Hall? (3)

The ‘subscribers’ — those Nonconformist ministers who had voted in favour of a declaration of faith concerning the Trinity — did not take their defeat (57-53 votes) lying down. They returned to Salters’ Hall on 3 March 1719 and unanimously resolved to adopt the words of the 1st article of the 39 Articles and the answers to the 5th and 6th questions of the catechism of the Westminster Confession, as a form of words ‘on which the Scripture doctrine of the Trinity is professedly expressed’. They attached this resolution to the advice they sent to the churches in Exeter. By the time this counsel arrived,...

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September 2016
Articles > Historical

Whatever happened at Salters’ Hall (2)

In Evangelical Times, August 2016, we looked at the historical and theological ethos of the nation after the restoration of Charles II to the throne in 1660. Our story proper begins in Exeter, Devon, in 1717. It involves two Presbyterian ministers, Joseph Hallett and James Peirce. Joseph Hallett was principal of a dissenting academy in the city. Over a period of time, these two gentlemen became enamoured by William Whiston’s heterodox theories, especially his denial of the deity of Christ. Rather than give up their positions in their churches, Peirce and Hallett practised deception upon their congregations. Deception Peirce wrote: ‘In conversation, I had always...

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August 2016
Articles > Historical

Whatever happened at Salters’ Hall (1)

‘History’, said Henry Ford, ‘is more or less bunk’. The Roman statesman Cicero had a very different view: ‘he who is ignorant of what happened before he was born’, he declared, ‘is destined to remain always a child’. But what benefit is there in a knowledge of history? To know that there was such a thing as the Battle of Bosworth is hardly beneficial. To know that it was fought in 1485, rather than, say, 1785 is helpful, but unlikely to be of great advantage in life. For that knowledge to carry any meaning, one must know about the parties that fought, the situation at...

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August 2016
Articles > Historical

Michael Faraday (1791-1867)

We are living in days when we can be easily intimidated by institutionalised atheism. Children in school science lessons may detect a sneer when they say they believe God created the earth and the first humans. When we enter museums, we are bombarded with information which promotes Darwinian evolution and its associated timescales, to the exclusion of creation. We have in Michael Faraday, however, a world-famous scientist who was not afraid to declare his belief in a creator God, and his personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Honoured Albert Einstein kept a picture of Faraday on his study wall, alongside those of Sir Isaac...

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August 2016
Articles > Historical

Seven marks of true revival

Knock & Point Free Church of Scotland (Continuing), on the Isle of Lewis, is a congregation with a history of revival over the last 100 years, and some of our members can remember seasons of remarkable blessing during the 1940s and 1950s. Sadly, revival has not been much experienced in recent years, but we long and pray for it to come again. Recently, I have been reading a couple of books on that subject. The log college by Archibald Alexander, originally published in 1851, is a classic account of the times of revival in America during the Great Awakening of the 1740s, later republished by...

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