Subscribe now

All articles in category 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,...

Read more
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...

Read more
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...

Read more
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...

Read more
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...

Read more
March 2013
Articles > Historical

Robert Murray M’Cheyne — a bright light and an enduring influence

Robert Murray M’Cheyne — a bright light and an enduring influence From time to time, the Lord has raised up preachers with remarkable gifts, to exercise an uncommon impact in their own generation and afterwards. One such was Robert Murray M’Cheyne. His case is all the more remarkable given the very short period of his ministry and the fact that the Lord was pleased to take him to himself before he was 30 years of age.    His forbears hailed from Dumfries and Galloway in south west Scotland, although Robert’s father, Adam, who was in the legal profession, became resident in Edinburgh.    Robert, the youngest of...

Read more
Revival and the Primitive Methodists (2)
March 2013
Articles > Historical

Revival and the Primitive Methodists (2)

Revival and the Primitive Methodists (2) Two of the first leaders of Primitive Methodism were Hugh Bourne (February ET) and William Clowes. It would be difficult to find two men more different. Despite the fact that Clowes could trace his kinship on his mother’s side back to Josiah Wedgwood of pottery fame, he was born in a poor workman’s cottage. This was on 12 March 1780, eight years after Hugh Bourne.    His early home life was sad, because his father, a working potter, lived a wicked and useless life, and remained unconverted until his last illness. Mrs Clowes on the other hand was a pious...

Read more
Preaching eternal judgement (1)
March 2013
Articles > Historical

Preaching eternal judgement (1)

Preaching eternal judgement (1) ‘Ranters’ was the name given to Primitive Methodist preachers, partly because they preached divine judgement and eternal punishment. But their beliefs were derived from the parent Wesleyan body. The same truths are to be heard today in any pulpit of any church or denomination loyal to the evangelical faith. In Primitive Methodism, this teaching was set out in its 1836 and 1849 Minutes of Conference. Such beliefs have been variously portrayed in fictional and non-fictional writing as outmoded, untenable, obsessive and offensive. This article looks at how Methodist beliefs have been caricatured. The early Methodists belonged doctrinally to mainstream Protestantism, although...

Read more
Gladys Aylward (1902-1970)  (2)
March 2013
Articles > Historical

Gladys Aylward (1902-1970) (2)

Gladys Aylward (1902-1970)  (2) Colin Nevin continues looking at the striking life of Gladys Aylward, whose village in China and grave in Taiwan he visited recently. It is now over 80 years since Gladys first made her intrepid missionary journey to Tienstin, in 1932. The Chinese language is difficult and broken into regional dialects. David Davies (who, along with Jean his wife, were Welsh missionaries to China) describes Gladys Aylward visiting his village mission station as someone who ‘chattered away to everyone in her own dialect’.     This description gives us a glimpse of the real Gladys. She was a remarkable character. Though her grammar...

Read more
March 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.

Read more
Revival and the Primitive Methodists (1)
February 2013
Articles > Historical

Revival and the Primitive Methodists (1)

Revival and the Primitive Methodists (1) Just over 200 years ago, in 1812, the Primitive Methodist Connection was officially established. How did this powerful movement for revival come into being? The earlier, Methodist revival of the eighteenth century had powerfully impacted society at large. Its call to repentance, emphasis upon the necessity of the new birth, insistence upon an assurance of sins forgiven and high standard of personal holiness were characteristic of the first Methodist societies.    New movement However, towards the end of the century a change was taking place, which disturbed the original awakeners. In the mid-1760s John Wesley had complained: ‘It has been...

Read more
William Carey, tongues and mission
February 2013
Articles > Historical

William Carey, tongues and mission

William Carey, tongues and mission On 28 October 1800, William Carey baptised his first Indian convert in the river at Serampore. This happy event took place seven years after Carey landed in India. Not surprisingly, Carey and his fellow missionaries were overjoyed. The convert was a high caste Brahmin Hindu, a 35-year-old man called Krishna Pal. He remained a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ to the end of his life.    But William Carey, ‘the father of modern missions’, would never have embarked upon his epic missionary work if he had listened to some within his denomination, back in Northamptonshire.     Confusion It is said that...

Read more
Page 20 of 58« First...10...1819202122...304050...Last »