Monday, November 3, 2014

Prayer and the fight against the slave trade

In 1791 John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, wrote to William Wilberforce to encourage him in his fight against slave trade.

In his biography of Wilberforce, Eric Metaxas makes this observation on Wesley's advice:
"The ... point Wesley was making was that it was not merely a political or a cultural battle. It was a spiritual battle. When Wesley wrote, 'you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils,' he was not using a colorful metaphor. He meant it literally.

To fight something as wicked as the slave trade was to go against an invisible demonic host. God has the power to fight them, but we do not. That spiritual reality lay behind the political reality, and Wesley wanted to ensure that Wilberforce understood that if he was to be successful in what lay ahead. Great men like Wilberforce and Wesley had the humility and wisdom to know that whatever strengths they had - and they had many - they could not win without a total reliance on God. At its core, every battle worth fighting is a spiritual battle. Those men were able to succeed only because they humbled themselves and entrusted the battle to God.

But how does one do that?

This brings us to the second way that Wilberforce did what he did. The one-word answer is prayer. Wilberforce prayed and read the Scriptures every day, and he prayed with many others over these issues and concerns."

Eric Metaxas, Seven Men and the Secret of their Greatness, p48.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My great ... grandfather (or grand mother ) was a Primitive Methodist

A common question I often get asked is "do you have any details on ... (my relative)?".

Here are some useful links that may help you to find the information you need on the ancestor you are researching:

Primitive Methodist

Wesleyan Methodist
 
Primitive Methodist women

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The least likely place


In his book Revival, Selwyn Hughes makes this observation. Revival ... begins in the most unlikely places. Pentecost, you remember, began not in the majestic atmosphere of Solomon's Temple, but in an Upper Room. For some reason, God seems to delight in bypassing the places where we might expect revival to break out – in a splendid cathedral or at a large Christian conference – and causes His fire to burst out in a small prayer meeting where only a few are present. In fact, no revival has been an official movement of the Church. This is why revival always astonishes the Church - it flares up where it is least expected.

Have you ever heard of the Primitive Methodist Revival in the 1800s? This began not on the historic sites of former Methodist accomplishments, such as in London or Bristol, but in a tiny hamlet on the hillside of Mow Cop near Stoke-on-Trent. Someone described it as the 'least likely place in which a revival has ever broken out.' And why? Because there were only a few grey, roughly built cottages situated there, inhabited by people with little intellectual ability or learning. The area was bleak, rugged and uninteresting. Nevertheless, this is the place God chose in which to manifest His power and glory. If ever the Church receives a blow to its pride, it is when God breaks forth in revival.






























 

Revival, Times of Refreshing, pages 63-64 Selwyn Hughes, CWR Publishing, 2004

Friday, July 25, 2014

Primitive Methodists at Prayer

Primitive Methodists at Prayer

William Holt Yates Titcomb (1858-1930)

The painting shows the interior of Primitive Methodists at Prayer on Fore Street, St Ives. The occasion depicted appears to be a prayer meeting following a summer evening preaching service.

Prayer fuelled the growth of Primitive Methodism. If we are to raise an army it will need those who are committed to pray for the workers in the harvest fields of our schools, Universities, colleges, workplaces and social gatherings across the nation.

Sources
1. http://www.wickersleyweb.co.uk/hist/titcomb.htm
2. http://scotwise.blogspot.com/2005/05/primitive-methodists-by-w-h-y-titcomb.html
3. Primitive Methodism, Geoffrey Milburn, page 79

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Raising an army (part two)


The Primitive Methodist movement spread rapidly, from ten members in 1810, to half a million people attending their Sunday services, as recorded by the 1851 Census. That is a significant statement of growth in just over forty years.

How did they do it?

In part, the answer is simple – they raised an army. It was an army of lay people who served as local preachers, Sunday school teachers and adult class leaders. The leaders of the movement were experts at talent spotting, recruiting new leaders from their prayer meetings, and other gatherings.

They recruited from within the movement. Some of the most effective preachers were teenage boys. Hugh Bourne’s “lads” were ploughboys, with little or no formal education.

One of the most effective adult preachers was John Benton, who was criticized for not being able to construct a grammatically correct sentence. His command of English may have been lacking, but the power of God accompanied his preaching, and his hearers were brought under conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit. Sarah Kirkland became the first full-time female travelling preacher at the age of 21.

When Hugh Bourne died in 1852, he left an army of lay people. There were

9,350 local preachers

6,632 class leaders

and 22,398 Sunday school teachers

If a movement is to expand and grow rapidly, it needs an army.