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THE

HISTORY

OF

WESLEYAN METHODISM.

BY

GEORGE H. HARWOOD,

WESLEYAN LOCAL PREACHER.

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Methodism, so-called, is the old religion, the religion of the
Bible, the religion of the Primitive Church, the religion of the
Church of England." -John WESLEY.

LONDON :

WHITTAKER AND CO., AVE MARIA LANE.
NOTTINGHAM: J. HOWITT, CLUMBER STREET

1854.

10. d. 108

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PREFACE.

WESLEYAN METHODISM has had several able historians, and, it may be safely affirmed, there is no important fact connected with its rise and progress, excepting such as are of recent date, which they have not fairly recorded, and fully explained.

The present little work is not therefore, introduced on public notice, to “supply their lack of service toward" a cause which is dear to the writer; but simply as the result of his conviction, that a History, characterised by conciseress of statement, variety of incident, and adapted to the. masses of the people called Methodists,” was, at least, desirable.

Having been long of this opinion, he took the liberty of writing a letter on the subject in February, 1850, to the Rev. Thomas Jackson, the President of the Wesleyan Conference, suggesting that he should, himself, undertake the authorship of such a work. The following answer, which, with characteristic kindness and courtesy Mr. Jackson immediately returned, tended to confirm him in his views :-he began to collect materials for it himself, and

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Low sends forth the present volume to the Methodist people as the result, with the prayer that God may give His blessing with its perusal.

“Richmond, February 7th, 1850. My dear Sir,

“I fully agree with you that a work of the kind you mention, and which you have so ably sketched, is every way desirable, and could not fail to be extensively useful, but whether I shall ever have sufficient leasure to execute such a task is at present very uncertain. I will mention the matter to other parties, and it is possible that something practical may arise from your suggestions which I cannot but consider equally seasonable and kind.

6 1 am,

“My dear Sir,
“ Yours very respectfully,

“THOMAS JACKSON.".

THE

HISTORY

OF

WESLEYAN METHODISM.

CHAPTER 1.---The Wesley Family.

The first person of the Wesley family of whom we can obtain any definite information is Bartholomew Wesley, the great grandfather of the Founder of Methodism. He was born about the beginning of the 17th century, and appears to have been educated purposely for the Christian ministry. He was sent to one of our Universities, most probably to the University of Oxford. Here he not only applied himself to the study of divinity, but likewise to that of physic. How long he continued at the University is unknown ; but in the year 1650, he is mentioned as one of the Rectors of Catherston, in Dorsetshire. The Act of Uniformity, which took effect on August 24, 1662, and deprived more than two thousand clergymen of their livings, deprived Bartholomew Wesley of his living among the rest. There were at that time a considerable number of the clergy who conscientiously objected to some portions of

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