Classic History Books

Great Britain and Her Queen - by Anne E. Keeling

hemispheres, was, says Lecky, but one consequence of that revival, which exercised "a large influence
upon the Established Church, upon the amount and distribution of the moral forces of the nation, and

even upon its political history"; an influence which continues, the sons of Methodism taking their due

part in local and imperial government. Eloquent tributes to the work of Wesley are frequent to-day,

the Times, in an article on the centenary of his death, saying: "The Evangelical movement in the

Church of England was the direct result of his influence and example, and since the movements and ideas

which have moulded the Church of England to-day could have found no fitting soil for their development

if they had not been preceded by the Evangelical movement, it is no paradox to say that the Church of

England to-day is what it is because John Wesley lived and taught in the last century.... He remains the

greatest, the most potent, the most far-reaching spiritual influence which Anglo-Saxon Christianity has

felt since the days of the Reformation." So far the Times, of him whom it styles "the restorer of

the Church of England." Many impartial writers, some being ardent friends of the English Church, have

also recognised a gracious overflow from Methodism which has blessed that Church, the Nonconformist

bodies, and the nation at large. If a man would understand "the religious history of the last hundred

years," that "most important ecclesiastical fact of modern times," the rise and progress of Methodism,

must be studied in relation to the Anglican and the older Nonconformist Churches, and the general

"missionary interests of Christianity": so we are taught by Dr. Stoughton, who has traced the influence of

Methodism in the general moral condition of the country and the voluntary institutions of our age. The

doctrines once almost peculiar to Wesley and his followers - such as entire sanctification - are now

accepted and taught by many Churches, and the religious usages of Methodism are imitated, watchnight

services being held, and revival mission services and prayer-meetings being conducted, in Anglican

churches; while the hymns of Charles Wesley, sung by all English-speaking Protestants, and translated

into many languages, enrich the devotional life of the Christian world.

It was a fit tribute to the benefits which the English Church has derived from the Methodist movement,
when the memorial tablet to the brothers John and Charles Wesley was unveiled in Westminster Abbey

by the late Dean Stanley, in 1872.

"The bracing breezes," said Dr. Stoughton, "came sweeping down from the hills of Methodism on Baptist
meadows as well as upon Independent fields." We may give some few instances that will show what

blessings have come to Nonconformist Churches by the agency of Methodism.

A remarkable incident that occurred in 1872 was recorded in the Wesleyan Methodist Magazine.
Dr. Jobson had invited five eminent ministers to meet the President of Conference at his house. After

breakfast their conversation quite naturally took the form of a lovefeast, all being familiar with Methodist

custom; when Dr. Allon, Dr. Raleigh, and Dr. Stoughton all said they were converted in Methodist

chapels, and began Christian work as Methodists. Thomas Binney said that "the direct instrumentality in

his conversion was Wesleyan," and Dr. Fraser was induced to enter the ministry by a Wesleyan lady.

Charles H. Spurgeon was converted through the instrumentality of a Primitive Methodist local preacher;

William Jay of Bath was converted at a Methodist service; John Angell James caught fire among the

Methodists; and Thomas Raffles was a member of the Wesleyan Society; Dr. Parker began his

ministrations as a Methodist local preacher; while Dr. Dale has shown the indebtedness of

Nonconformity to Methodism. In France and Germany Methodist agency has been one of the strongest

forces in re-awakening the old Protestant Churches; the services held by our Connexional evangelists

send many converts to swell the fellowship of Churches not our own. And the same effects followed the

great Methodist revival in America; out of 1,300 converts, 800 joined the Presbyterian and other

denominations. But while calling attention to the spiritual wealth and the beneficent overflow of


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