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A HISTORY

OF

THE EVANGELICAL PARTY

IN

The Church of England

BY

G. R. BALLEINE, M.A.

VICAR OF ST. JAMES'S, BERMONDSEY

"THE LORD HATH SO DONE HIS MARVELLOUS WORKS THAT

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PREFACE

PARTY has been defined1 as "a section of a larger

society, united to carry out the objects of the whole body on principles and by methods peculiar to itself." It is in this sense that the word can be used of the Evangelicals. They have never been a party of the parliamentary type, drilled and disciplined to respond promptly to the crack of the whip. Though they have shown almost a genius for organizationthe great Missionary Societies are evidence of thisthey have always refused to use this power merely for party purposes. Every attempt to create a counterpart to the English Church Union has failed, Wesley's sneer,2 "They are a rope of sand, and such they will continue," has been quoted against them in every generation. Nevertheless they have worked together for a century and a half, a distinct group within the larger Society of the Church, with methods and principles more or less peculiar to themselves, but with no object, except that for which the whole Church exists, the salvation of souls and the training of citizens for the Kingdom of Christ.

1 Fraser's Magazine, January, 1878, p. 22.

2 Paper read by Wesley to Conference, 1769. Printed by Tyerman, III, 49.

In the following pages I have attempted to sketch the gradual growth of this party, and the development of its work at home and abroad. No one can write on such a subject without owing a heavy debt to previous workers in the field, especially to Mr. Luke Tyerman for his exhaustive studies of the literature of the Methodist movement, to Canon Overton for his researches into the Church life of the eighteenth century, and to Mr. Eugene Stock, whose masterly History of the Church Missionary Society contains many valuable chapters on the work at home. To these names I must add that of the Rev. Charles Hole, whose unpublished manuscripts are now in the C.M.S. Library. My own book was practically complete before I learned of their existence, but I have found their scholarly accuracy invaluable in the work of revision. I have gladly availed myself of help from all modern sources, but at the same time I have tried to base every statement strictly on contemporary evidence. More than a thousand eighteenth-century biographies and pamphlets have been studied. Constant journeys on the underground railway have given a quiet opportunity for reading all the seventy-five volumes of the Christian Observer. The back numbers of the Record and Guardian have grown very familiar, and Bristol, Manchester, and Liverpool newspapers have been frequently consulted. Whatever faults or defects may be found in the book, I venture to claim two points at least in its favour: it is the work of one who is entirely in sympathy with his subject

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