Thursday, March 18, 2010
Primitive Methodists and commitment to a cause
Steve Addison identifies commitment to a cause as a common characteristic of movements in his book “Movements that Change the World”.
The commitment of the early pioneers of the movement was characterized by active and sustained persecution. This came in two distinctive forms: the mob and the magistrate.
The mob was an unruly and unpredictable group who came to disrupt the evangelistic efforts of the missionary preachers. Sometimes the violence became so extreme, that the preacher was fortunate to escape with their life.
Open-air preachers were often accused and brought before a local magistrate on a spurious charge. As a result the preachers became experts at knowing their rights, and became familiar with the state of the legal system and justice in England. It was not unusual for them to be thrown into prison.