“The community whose operations penetrate deeply through the lower sections of the people is the body called the Primitive Methodists; whose trespasses against what may thought a proper order will most likely be forgiven when it is remembered that perhaps their rough, unformal energy (sic) is best adapted to the class to which it is addressed, and that, at all events, for every convert added to their ranks, society retains one criminal, one drunkard, one improvident, less.” (An improvident is one who is careless, reckless or negligent)
A typical convert was someone whose life was characterised by drunken violence, cursing and swearing, fighting, gambling and reckless living. A prime example is that of one of the founders of the movement, William Clowes. The Primitive Methodists were a loud and noisy group, who saw lives, families and communities changed through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They ministered to the poor, rough and tough members of the community.
How much we need a movement like this in our society today.
Here is the quote in context
Other 1851 Census References
1. Every convert: one criminal, one drunkard, one improvident, less
2. Raising an army
3. Movements that Change the World
4. 1851 Census of Religious worship