Classic History Books


Great Britain and Her Queen - by Anne E. Keeling

vans, each carrying two evangelists, and a large quantity of literature, to the villages; the evangelists in
charge conducting services in the village chapels and in the open air. The sale of books and the voluntary

contributions of the people help to defray the expenses. This agency is now under the direction of the

Home Mission committee, and the gospel cars will be known as "Wesleyan Home Mission Cars."

Another new movement, helpful to village Methodism, is the "Joyful News" mission, originating with
the Rev. Thomas Champness, who has been set free from ordinary circuit work to manage it. He trains

lay agents, for whose services there is a great demand in villages where the people are too poor to

maintain additional ministers, and where the supply of local preachers is deficient. Some of these agents

are at work abroad.

The energetic Home Mission Committee has also set on foot missions where Methodism was feeble. Nor
are those forgotten who "go down to the sea in ships, and do business in great waters." As far as means

permit, efforts are made for the spiritual benefit of our sailors in all the great ports of the world; our

soldiers, too, are equally cared for. Methodism has always been interested in the army, in which some of

Wesley's best converts were found; yet there was no systematic work in it before 1839, when an order by

the commander-in-chief permitted every soldier to attend the church of his choice. Some years

afterwards, the Rev. Dr. Rule strove hard to secure the recognition of the rights of Wesleyans, and after

much struggle the War Office recognised Wesleyan chaplains. The work and position of Wesleyan

Methodism are now thoroughly organised throughout the world. The government allows a capitation

grant for all declared Wesleyans, and it amounts to a large sum of money every year. In 1896 there were,

including the Militia, 22,663 declared Wesleyans in the army and 1,485 Church members. There are 28

Sailors' and Soldiers' Homes, providing 432 beds, and these Homes have been established at a cost of

L35,000. In them are coffee bars, libraries, lecture halls, and, what is most appreciated by Christian

soldiers, rooms for private prayer. The officiating ministers, who give the whole or part of their time to

the soldiers and their families, number 195.

There are many local preachers among the soldiers, and at least two have left the ranks to become
ministers.

On the Mission field, soldiers render valuable aid to the missionary in building chapels, distributing
tracts, and often teaching and preaching to the natives and others. Thus, whilst helping to hold the empire

for their Queen, they are hastening on the day when all the kingdoms of the world shall be the kingdom

of our Lord and of His Christ.

This deeply interesting work in the Army and Royal Navy is appropriately mentioned in connexion with
our Home and Foreign Missions, both intimately concerned in its maintenance and management. It is

right to mention that the Soldiers' and Sailors' Homes described are free to all members of H.M.'s sea and

land forces, irrespective of religious denomination.

PART II.

One great event in Methodist history since 1837 now calls for notice - the assembling of the first
Oecumenical Conference in Wesley's Chapel, City Road, London, in 1861. This idea was in strict

keeping with the spirit Wesley discovered when, five weeks before his death, he wrote to his children in

America: "See that you never give place to one thought of separating from your brethren in Europe. Lose

no opportunity of declaring to all men that the Methodists are one people in all the world, and that it is

their full determination so to continue,

 

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