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All articles in category Historical

Historical

July 2013
Articles > Historical

Can a Christian really be sure of his salvation? (2)

Last month (June ET), we answered this question with an emphatic ‘Yes!’, since this is the clear teaching of the Bible. The Puritans are particularly helpful in explaining and applying the doctrine of Christian assurance in a pastorally warm and helpful way. Typical of their teaching are the writings of Ezekiel Hopkins, bishop of Raphoe and later of Derry (1671).      Hopkins explains how all three persons of the Trinity are involved in assuring Christians of their salvation. Having God as our omnipotent Father gives us ‘abundance of assurance, that we shall receive at his hands what we ask, if it be good for us’....

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Historical

June 2013
Articles > Historical

Can a Christian really be sure of his salvation?

The answer is an emphatic ‘Yes!’ Almighty God, in his Word, speaks clearly that Christians can be certain they are saved and be sure of their unchanging status in Christ.   Our actual experience seems so different though, since we easily follow fickle feelings and look away from the finished work of Christ as the foundation of our salvation. But problems of doubt are nothing new in the history of the church.      Past generations had similar doubts, and their pastors helpfully addressed this issue in their sermons and writings. From these older writings we can benefit today, and particularly from the treasure trove called...

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Revival and the Primitive Methodists (5)

Historical

June 2013
Articles > Historical

Revival and the Primitive Methodists (5)

In 1812, the Primitive Methodist Connection was formally established. It was John Crawfoot who had unintentionally invented this name, when he declared, ‘If you have deviated from the old usages, I have not. I still remain a primitive Methodist!’   Their first class ticket issued in 1812 bore the title, ‘The Society of the Primitive Methodists’. By this time the ‘Magic Methodists’, as John Crawfoot’s own group had mockingly been called, had ceased to be in fellowship with the movement.      The visions and trances associated with that group had also ceased and the work of directing the young societies was being undertaken by Hugh...

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Event

June 2013
Articles > Historical

Ignatius of Antioch

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Revival and the Primitive Methodists (4)

Historical

May 2013
Articles > Historical

Revival and the Primitive Methodists (4)

One of the most outstanding features of the early Primitive Methodists was their sheer hard labour for the Lord.   Despite continuing in long hours of public employment, they preached in four counties, organised meetings, held ‘walking-services’ — in which they would sometimes walk a mile and a half, preaching as they went — on one occasion to a troop of marching soldiers.      They prayed together on the way to preaching engagements, and called such occasions ‘walking prayer meetings’.      Bourne’s early impression of Clowes gives us an insight into the deep spirituality of these men: ‘This man is such an example of living...

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Historical

May 2013
Articles > Historical

The grace of giving – Richard Cory; the Billups family

Nigel Faithfull celebrates the lives of some other forgotten benefactors of gospel work (see also the first part in April ET). Richard Cory was born at Bideford in February 1830. He was about two years younger than his brother John (April ET). His wife Emily was born in 1832 at Gwinear, near Hayle in Cornwall. In 1881 their address is given as Oscar House, Newport Road, Cardiff, where they lived with their sons, Saxton (25), a merchant clerk, and Theodore (6), and daughter Mable (10), along with a cook and housemaid. Richard shared in some of John’s philanthropic projects, and also had his own interests....

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Historical

April 2013
Articles > Historical

The grace of giving – John Cory (1)

The centenary of the death of William Booth, who founded the Salvation Army in 1878, was commemorated on 20 October 2012. Earlier, in 1861, William and his wife Catherine had set off on a gospel campaign in Cornwall. About 7000 souls were recorded as saved, but the local Methodists eventually banned them from their pulpits. Their more dramatic revivalist style of preaching, with appeals to come to the ‘penitent seat’, the shouting out of rough, strong men under conviction, and the frequent disorderliness (which William tried to moderate), disturbed the traditional decorum. Local fishermen had trading contacts in Cardiff, and that is where they headed...

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Historical

April 2013
Articles > Historical

Preaching and eternal judgement (2)

The doctrine of hell was once taken very seriously within Methodism. As already explained (March ET), ‘Eternal rewards and punishments’ appears in the Primitive Methodist minuted list of connexional doctrines. The traditional teaching of hell was strongly upheld by John and Charles Wesley during the eighteenth century. And later, in 1845, John Buckland was removed from the Reading circuit plan as a preacher ‘as he does not believe in eternal punishment’. Today the online Dictionary of Methodism in Britain and Ireland states that, ‘Hell was, in classical Christian theology, the eternal state after death of the finally impenitent and unbelieving… ‘In the 1870s the doctrine,...

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Historical

April 2013
Articles > Historical

Revival and the Primitive Methodists (3)

The first Camp meeting took place at Mow Cop on 31 May 1807. William Clowes describes the scene: ‘The first day’s praying on Mow Hill presented at this period a most magnificent and sublime spectacle’. ‘Four preachers [were] simultaneously crying to sinners to flee from the wrath to come; thousands listening, affected by “thoughts that breathe and words that burn”; many in deep distress and others pleading with heaven on their behalf; some praising God aloud for the great things which were brought to pass, whilst others were rejoicing in the testimony which they had received, that their sins which were many had all been...

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Historical

April 2013
Articles > Historical

William Grimshaw remembered

250 years after the death of William Grimshaw, his biographer Faith Cook commemorates an unsung hero of the Evangelical Revival. With any mention of the eighteenth-century Evangelical Revival, the names of George Whitefield, John and Charles Wesley, Howell Harris and others instantly spring to mind — instruments in God’s hands of that great work. But one name is frequently missing from the list — one whom William Romaine described as ‘the most indefatigable preacher that ever there was in England’: William Grimshaw of Haworth. Future leader Grimshaw died at the relatively early age of 54; a short life compared to that of John Wesley who...

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Historical

April 2013
Articles > Historical

Bishop Festo Kivengere of Uganda

  EP Books’ latest Bitesize Biography (Festo Kivengere, ISBN: 9780852348512) tells the gripping life story of the best known African evangelist of his day, whose powerful preaching impacted several African countries. It also describes how Festo Kivengere pleaded with Idi Amin for the lives of the innocent, when that ruthless dictator was on the rampage. The following extract describes Festo’s conversion.   Festo turned his back on Christianity soon after his arrival at high school  … He fell in with a group of lads untouched by the revival or Christian witness around them. He joined them in their escapades to the shops after dark and...

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Historical

March 2013
Articles > Historical

Arthur Hildersham: prince among puritans

Arthur Hildersham: prince among puritans 2013 marks the 450th anniversary of the birth of this important figure, but Arthur Hildersham could to a great extent be considered a forgotten puritan. Since the 13-page account of his life compiled by Samuel Clarke in the seventeenth century (in his A general martyrologie and also his The lives of two and twenty English divines), there has been no new biography of Hildersham.     Although Hildersham’s name appears in many collections of godly ‘lives’, the entry is usually brief and based almost solely on information from Clarke. Hildersham’s sermons are no longer in print, and do not have a...

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