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! Isaac Watts : his Life and Writings, his Home and Friends" 

With a Supplemental Chapter on the Revival in America. 



1 1 22 Chestnut Street. 


, Br ExohSnwa 

MAY 2-i taw 



The only changes made in revising this work are in the local 
allusions to England as "our country," etc., and in a few 
phrases and expressions naturally arising from the original pre- 
paration of the chapters for successive numbers of a magazine. 
If any reader thinks that the Author's enthusiasm in his subject 
has caused him to ascribe too great influence to the " Methodist 
movement," and not to give due recognition to other potent 
agencies in the " great awakening " of the last century, let him 
remember that this volume does not profess to give a complete, 
but only a partial history of the Great Revival. Indeed, the 
Author's graphic pictures relate chiefly to the movement, as it 
swept over London and the great mining centres of England, 
where the truth, as proclaimed by the great leaders, Whitefield, 
the Wesleys, and their co-laborers, won its greatest victories, 
and where Methodism has ever continued to render some of its 
most valiant and glorious services for Christ. It is not to be 
inferred that in Scotland, Ireland, and in the American colonies, 
as in many portions of England, other organizations, dissenting 
societies and churches were not a power in spreading the Great 
Revival movement. 

A brief chapter has been added at the close, sketching some 
phases of the revival in the American colonies, under the labors 
of Edwards, Whitefield, the Tennents, and their associates. 
Whatever other material has been added by the Editor is indi- 
cated by brackets, thus leaving the distinguished Author's views 
and expressions intact. 

An Index has also been added, to increase the permanent 
value of the book to the reader. If the history of the remark- 
able "religious awakenings" of the eighteenth century were 
more diligently studied, and the holy enthusiasm and wonderful 
zeal of those great leaders in "hunting for souls" were to 
inspire workers of this century, what marvellous conquests and 
victories should we witness for the Son of God ! 

Philadelphia, March, 1882. 


THE author of the following pages begs that 
they may be read kindly — and, he will venture 
to say, not critically. Originally published as 
a series of papers in the Sunday at Home, * * * 
they are only Vignettes — etchings. The History 
of the great Religious Movement of the Eight- 
eenth Century yet remains unwritten ; not 
often has the world known such a marvellous 
awakening of religious thought; and, as we are 
further removed in time, so, perhaps, we are 
better able to judge of the momentous circum- 
stances, could we but seize the point of view. 



i. The Darkness Before the Dawn 7 

11. First Streaks of Dawn 24 

hi. Oxford : New Lights and Old Lanterns a 48 

iv. Cast Out from the Church — Taking to the 

Fields 68 

v. The Revival Conservative 86 

vi. The Singers of the Revival 109 

vii. Lay Preaching and Lay Preachers 132 

viii. A Gallery of Revivalist Portraits 154 

ix. Blossoms in the Wilderness 180 

x. The Revival Becomes Educational — Robert 

Raikes 193 

xi. The Romantic Story of Silas Told 216 

xii. Missionary Societies 250 

xiii. Aftermath 260 

xiv. Revival in the New World 281 

Appendix 303 





IT cannot be too often remembered or re- 
peated that when the Bible has been brought 
face to face with the conscience of corrupt 
society, in every age it has shown itself to be 
that which it professes, and which its believers 
declare it to be — " the great power of God." It 
proved itself thus amidst the hoary and decay- 
ing corruptions of the ancient civilisation, when 
its truths were first published to the Roman 
Empire ; it proclaimed its power to the impure 
but polished society of Florence, when Savon- 
arola preached his wonderful sermons in St. 
Mark's ; and effected the same results through- 
out the whole German Empire, when Bible 
truth sounded forth from Luther's trumpet- 
tones. The same principle is illustrated where 
the great evangelical truths of the New Testa- 
ment entered nations, as in Spain or France, 
only to be rejected. From that rejection and 

8 The Great Revival. 

the martyrdoms of the first believers ; those 
nations have never recovered themselves even 
to this hour ; and of the two nations, that in 
which the rejection was the most haughty and 
cruel, has suffered most from its renunciation. 

England has passed through three great 
evangelical revivals. 

The first, the period of the REFORMATION, 
whose force was latent there, even before the 
waves of the great German revolution reached 
its shores, and called forth the pen of a monarch, 
and that monarch a haughty Tudor, to enter 
the lists of disputation with the lowly-born son 
of a miner of Hartz Mountains. What that 
Reformation effected in England we all very 
well know ; the changes it wrought in opinion, 
the martyrs who passed away in their chariots 
of fire in vindication of its doctrines, the great 
writers and preachers to whose works and 
names we frequently and lovingly refer. 

Then came the second great evangelical 
revival, the period of PURITANISM, whose 
central interests gather round the great civil 
wars. This was the time, and these were the 
opinions which produced some of the most 
massive and magnificent writers of our lan- 
guage ; the whole mind of the country was 
stirred to its deepest heart by faith in those 
truths, which to believe enobles human nature, 

Darkness before Dawn. 9 

and enables it to endure " as seeing Him who 
is invisible." There can be no doubt that it 
produced some of the grandest and noblest 
minds, whether for service by sword or pen, in 
the pulpit or the cabinet, that the world has 
known. Lord Macaulay's magnificently glow- 
ing description of the English Puritan, and how 
he attained, by his evangelical opinions, his 
stature of strength, will be familiar to all read- 
ers who know his essay on Milton. 

But the present aim is to gather up some of 
the facts and impressions, and briefly to recite 
some of the influences of the third great evangel- 
ical revival in the Eighteenth Century. We 
are guilty of no exaggeration in saying that 
these have been equally deserving historic 
fame with either of the preceding. The story 
has less, perhaps, to excite some of our most 
passionate human interests ; it had not to make 
its way through stakes and scaffolds, although 
it could recite many tales of persecution ; it 
unsheathed no sword, the weapons of its war- 
fare were not carnal ; and on the whole, it 
maybe said its doctrine distilled " as the dew;" 
yet it is not too much to say that from the re- 
vival of the last century came forth that won- 
derfully manifold reticulation and holy machin- 
ery of piety and benevolence, we find in such 
active operation around us to-day. 

* Appendix A. 

10 The Great Revival. 

All impartial historians of the period place this 
most remarkable religious impulse in the rank of 
the very foremost phenomena of the times. The 
calm and able historian, Earl Stanhope, speak- 
ing of it, as "despised at its commencement," 
continues, "with less immediate importance 
than wars or political changes, it endures long 
after not only the result but the memory of 
these has passed away, and thousands" (his 
lordship ought to have said millions) "who 
never heard of Fontenoy or Walpole, continue 
to follow the precepts, and venerate the name 
of John Wesley." While the latest, a still more 
able and equally impartial and quiet historian, 
Mr. Lecky, says, "Our splendid victories by 
land and sea must yield in real importance to 
this religious revolution ; it exercised a pro- 
found and lasting influence upon the spirit of 
the Established Church of England, upon the 
amount and distribution of the moral forces of 
that nation, and even upon the course of its 
political history." 

Shall we, then, first attempt to obtain some 
adequate idea of what this Revival effected, by 
a slight effort to realise what sort of world and 
state of society it was into which the Revival 
came ? One writer truly remarks, " Never has 
century risen on christian England so void of 
soul and faith as that which opened with Queen 

Darkness before Dawn. 1 1 

Anne, and which reached its misty noon be- 
neath the second George, a dewless night suc- 
ceeded by a dewless dawn. There was no 
freshness in the past and no promise in the 
future ; the Puritans were buried, the Method- 
ists were not born." It is unquestionably true 
that black, bad and corrupt as society was, for 
the most part, all round, in the eighteenth 
century, intellectual and spiritual forces broke 
forth, simultaneously we had almost said, and 
believing, as we do, in the Providence which 
governed the rise of both, we may say, consen- 
taneously, which have left far behind all social 
regenerations which the pen of history has re- 
cited before. Of almost all the fruits we enjoy, 
it may be said the seeds were planted then ; 
even those which, like the printing-press or the 
gospel, had been planted ages before, were so 
transplanted as to flourish with a new vigour. 

Our eye has been taught to rest on an inter- 
esting incident. It was in 1757 John Wesley, 
travelling and preaching, then about fifty years 
of age, but still with nearly forty years of work 
before him, arrived in Glasgow. He saw in the 
University its library and its pictures ; but, had 
he possessed the vision of a Hebrew seer he 
might have glanced up from the quadrangle of 
the college to the humble rooms, up a spiral 
staircase, of a young workman, over whose 

12 The Great Revival. 

lodging was the sign and information that 
they were tenanted by a " mathematical in- 
strument maker to the University." This young 
man, living there upon a poor fare, and eking 
out a poor subsistence, with many thoughts 
burdening his mind, was destined to be the 
founder of the greatest commercial and mate- 
rial revolution the world has known : through 
him seems to have been fulfilled the wonder- 
fully significant prophecy of Nahum : " The 
chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall 
jostle one against another in the broad ways : 
they shall seem like torches, they shall run 
like the lightnings." This young man was 
James Watt, who gave to the world the steam 
engine. A few years after he gave his mighty 
invention to Birmingham; and the world has 
never been the same world since. " By that 
invention," says Emerson, " one man can do the 
work of two hundred and fifty men ;" and in 
Manchester alone and in its vicinity there are 
probably sixty thousand boilers, and the aggre- 
gate power of a million horses. 

Let not the allusion seem out of place. That 
age was the seed-time of the present harvest 
fields ; in that time those great religious ideas 
which have wrought such an astonishing revo- 
lution, acquired body and form ; and we ought 
to notice how, when God sets free some new 

Darkness before Dawn. 13 

idea, He also calls into existence the new vehi- 
cle for its diffusion. He did not trust the early 
christian faith to the old Latin races, to the 
selfish and aesthetic Greek, or to the merely- 
conservative Hebrew; He "hissed," in the 
graphic language of the old Bible, for a new 
race, and gave the New Testament to the 
Teutonic people, who have ever been its chief 
guardians and expositors ; and thus, in all re- 
views of the development and unfolding of the 
religious life in the times of which we speak, 
we have to notice how the material and the 
spiritual changes have re-acted on each other, 
while both have brought a change which has 
indeed " made all things new." 

Contrasting the state of society after the rise 
of the Great Revival with what it was before, 
the present with the past, it is quite obvious 
that something has brought about a general 
decency and decorum of manners, a tenderness 
and benevolence of sentiment, a religious inter- 
est in, and observance of, pious usages, not to 
speak of a depth of religious life and conviction, 
and a general purity and nobility of literary 
taste, which did not exist before. All these 
must be credited to this great movement. It is 
not in the nature of steam engines, whether 
stationary or locomotive, nor in printing 
presses, or Staffordshire potteries, undirected 

14 The Great Revival: 

by spiritual forces, to raise the morals or to 
improve the manners of mankind. 

If sometimes in the presence of the spectacles 
of ignorance, crime, irreligion, and corruption 
in our own day, we are filled with a sense of 
despair for the prospects of society, it may be 
well to take a retrospect of what society was in 
England at the commencement of the last cen- 
tury. When George III. ascended the throne 
the population of England was not much over 
five millions ; at the commencement of the 
present century it was nearly eleven millions ; 
but with the intensely crowded population of 
the present day, the cancerous elements of so- 
ciety, the dangerous, pauperised, and criminal 
classes are in far less proportion, not merely 
relatively, but really. It was a small country, 
and possessed few inhabitants. There are few 
circumstances which can give us much pleasure 
in the review. National distress was constantly 
making itself bitterly felt ; it was the age of 
mobs and riots. The state of the criminal law 
was cruel in the extreme. Blackstone calcu- 
lates that for no fewer than one hundred and 
sixty offences, some of them of the most frivo- 
lous description, the judge was bound to pro- 
nounce sentence of death. Crime, of course, 
flourished. During the year 1738 no fewer 
than fifty-two criminals were hanged at Tyburn. 

Darkness before Dawn. 15 

During that and the preceding years, twelve 
thousand persons had been convicted, within 
the Bills of Mortality, for smuggling gin and 
selling it without licence. The amusements of 
all classes of people were exactly of that order 
calculated to create a cruel disposition, and 
thus to encourage crime ; bear-baiting, bull- 
baiting, prize-fighting, cock-fighting : on a 
Shrove Tuesday it was dangerous to pass down 
any public street. This was the day selected 
for the barbarity of tying a harmless cock to a 
stake, there to be battered to death by throw- 
ing a stick at it from a certain distance. The 
grim humour of the people took this form of 
expressing the national hatred to the French, 
from the Latin name for the cock, Gallus. It 
was in truth a barbarous pun. 

With abundant wealth and means of happi- 
ness, the people fell far short of what we should 
consider comfort now. Life and liberty were 
cheap, and a prevalent Deism or Atheism was 
united to a wild licentiousness of manners, bru- 
talising all classes of society. For the most 
part, the Church of England had so shamefully 
forgotten or neglected her duty — this is admit- 
ted now by all her most ardent ministers — 
while the Noncomformists had sunk generally 
into so cold an indifferentism in devotion, and 
so hard and sceptical a frame in theology, that 

16 The Great Revival. 

every interest in the land was surrendered to 
profligacy and recklessness, and, in thoughtful 
minds, to despair. Society in general was 
spiritually dead. The literature of England, 
with two or three famous exceptions, suffered a 
temporary eclipse. Such as it was, it was per- 
verted from all high purposes, and was utterly 
alien to all purity and moral dignity. A good 
idea of the moral tone of the times might be 
obtained by running the eye over a few vol- 
umes of the old plays of this period, many of 
them even written by ladies; it is amazing to 
us now to think not only that they could be 
tolerated, but even applauded. The gaols were 
filled with culprits; but this did not prevent the 
heaths, moors, and forests from swarming with 
highwaymen, and the cities with burglars. In 
the remote regions of England, such as Corn- 
wall in the west, Yorkshire and Northumber- 
land in the north, and especially in the midland 
Staffordshire, the manners were wild and sav- 
age, passing all conception and description. 
We have to conceive of a state of society di- 
vested of all the educational, philanthropic, and 
benevolent activities of modern times. There 
were no Sunday-schools, and few day-schools; 
here and there, some fortunate neighbourhood 
possessed a grammar-school from some old 
foundation. Or, perhaps some solitary chapel, 

Darkness before Dawn. iy 

retreating into a bye-lane in the metropolitan 
city, or the country town, or, more probably, 
far away from any town, stood at some conflu- 
ence of roads, a monument of old intolerance; 
but, as we said, religious life was in fact dead, 
or lying in a trance. 

As to the religious teachers of those times, 
we know of no, period in our history concerning 
which it might so appropriately be said, in the 
words of the prophet, " The pastors" are "be- 
come brutish, and have not sought the Lord." 
In the life of a singular man, but not a good one, 
Thomas Lord Lyttleton, in a letter dated 1775, 
we have a most graphic portrait of a country 
clergyman, a friend of Lyttleton, who went by 
the designation of " Parson Adams." We sup- 
pose him to be no bad representative of the av- 
erage parson of that day — coarse, profane, jocu- 
lar, irreligious. On a Saturday evening he told 
Lyttleton, his host, that he should send his 
flocks to grass on the approaching Sabbath. 
" The next morning," says Lyttleton, " we 
hinted to him that the company did not wish 
to restrain him from attending the Divine ser- 
vice of the parish; but he declared that it 
would be adding contempt to neglect if, when 
he had absented himself from his own church 
he should go to any other. This curious etiquette 
he strictly observed; and we passed a Sabbath 
contrary, I fear, both to law and to gospel." 

1 8 The Great Revival, 

If we desire to obtain some knowledge of 
what the Church of England was, as represent- 
ed by her clergy when George III. was king, 
we should go to her own records ; and for the 
latter years of his reign, notably to the life of 
that learned, active, and amiable man, Dr. 
Blomfield, Bishop of London, whose memory 
was a wonderful repository of anecdotes, not 
tending to elevate the clergy of those times in 
popular estimation. Intoxication was a vice 
very characteristic of the cloth : on one occa- 
sion the bishop reproved one of his Chester 
clergy for drunkenness: he replied, "But, my 
lord, I never was drunk on duty." " On duty ! " 
exclaimed the bishop; "and pray, sir, when is 
a clergyman not on duty ? " " True," said the 
other; "my lord, I never thought of that." 
The bishop went into a poor man's cottage in 
one of the valleys in the Lake district, and 
asked whether his clergyman ever visited him. 
The poor man replied that he did very fre- 
quently. The bishop was delighted, and ex- 
pressed his gratification at this pastoral over- 
sight; and this led to the discovery that 
there were a good many foxes on the hills 
behind the house, which gave the occasion for 
the frequency of calls which could scarcely be 
considered pastoral. The chaplain and son-in- 
law of Bishop North examined candidates for 

Darkness before Dawn. 19 

orders in a tent on a cricket-field, he being 
engaged as one of the players; the chaplain of 
Bishop Douglas examined whilst shaving; 
Bishop Watson never resided in his diocese 
during an episcopate of thirty-four years. 

And those who preached seem rarely to have 
been of a very edifying order of preachers; 
Bishop Blomfield used to relate how, in his 
boyhood, when at Bury St. Edmund's, the Mar- 
quis of Bristol had given a number of scarlet 
cloaks to some poor old women ; they all ap- 
peared at church on the following Sunday, re- 
splendent in their new and bright array, and 
the clergyman made the donation of the mar- 
quis the subject of his discourse, announcing 
his text with a graceful wave of his hand to- 
wards the poor old bodies who were sitting there 
all together: "Even Solomon, in all his glory, 
was not arrayed like one of these ! " This 
worthy seems to have been very capable of 
such things: on another occasion a dole of po- 
tatoes was distributed by the local authorities 
in Bury, and this also was improved in a ser- 
mon. "He had himself," the bishop says, "a 
very corpulent frame, and pompous manner, 
and a habit of rolling from side to side while he 
delivered himself of his breathing thoughts and 
burning words; on the occasion of the potato 
dole, he chose for his singularly appropriate 

20 The Great Revival. 

text (Exodus xvi. 15): "And when the chil- 
dren of Israel saw it, they said one to another, 
It is manna;" and thence he proceeded to 
discourse to the recipients of the potatoes on 
the warning furnished by the Israelites against 
the sin of gluttony, and the wickedness of tak- 
ing more than their share. 

When that admirable man, Mr. Shirley, be- 
gan his evangelistic ministry as the friend and 
coadjutor of his cousin, the Countess of Hunt- 
ingdon, a curate went to the archbishop to 
complain of his unclerical proceedings : " Oh, 
your grace, I have something of great import- 
ance to communicate ; it will astonish you !" 
" Indeed, what can it be ?" said the archbishop. 
" Why, my lord," replied he, throwing into his 
countenance an expression of horror, and ex- 
pecting the archbishop to be petrified with as- 
tonishment, " he actually wears white stock- 
ings !" " Very unclerical indeed," said the arch- 
bishop, apparently much surprised ; he drew 
his chair near to the curate, and with peculiar 
earnestness, and in a sort of confidential whis- 
per, said, " Now tell me — I ask this with pecu- 
liar feelings of interest — does Mr. Shirley wear 
them over his boots ?" " Why, no, your grace, 
I cannot say he does." " Well, sir, the first 
time you ever hear of Mr. Shirley wearing them 
over his boots, be so good as to warn me, and 
I shall know how to deal with him !" 

Darkness before Dawn. 21 

We would not, on the other hand, be unjust. 
We may well believe that there were hamlets 
and villages where country clergymen realised 
their duties and fulfilled them, and not only de- 
served all the merit of Goldsmith's charming 
picture,* but were faithful ministers of the New 
Testament too. But our words and illustra- 
tions refer to the average character presented 
to us by the Church ; and this, again, is illus- 
trated by the vehement hostility presented on 
all hands to the first indications of the Great 
Revival. For instance, the Rev. Dr. Thomas 
Church, Vicar of Battersea, in a well-known 
sermon on charity schools, deplored and de- 
nounced the enormous wickedness of the times ; 
after saying, " Our streets are grievously in- 
fested ; every day we see the most dreadful 
confusions, daring villanies, dangers, and mis- 
chiefs, arising from the want of sentiments of 
piety," he continues : " For our own sakes and 
our posterity's everything should be encouraged 
which will contribute to suppressing these evils, 
and keep the poor from stealing, lying, drunk- 
enness, cruelty, or taking God's name in vain. 
While we feel our disease, 'tis madness to set 
aside any remedy which has power to check its 
fury." Having said this, with a perfectly start- 
ling inconsistency he turns round, and address- 
ing himself to Wesley and the Methodists, he 

* Appendix B. 

22 The Great Revival. 

says, " We cannot but regard you as our most 
dangerous enemies." 

When the Great Revival arose, the Church of 
England set herself, everywhere, in full array 
against it ; she possessed but few great minds. 
The massive intellects of Butler and Berkeley 
belonged to the immediately preceding age. 
The most active intellect on the bench of bish- 
ops was, no doubt, that of Warburton ; and it 
is sad to think that he descended to a tone of 
scurrility and injustice in his attack on Wesley, 
which, if worthy of his really quarrelsome tem- 
per, was altogether unworthy of his position 
and his powers. 

Thus, whether we derive our impressions 
from the so-called Church of that time, or from 
society at large, we obtain the evidences of a 
deplorable recklessness of all ordinary princi- 
ples of religion, honour, or decorum. Bishop 
Butler had written, in the "Advertisement " to 
his Analogy, and he appears to have been re- 
ferring to the clerical and educated opinion of 
his time : " It is come, I know not how, to be 
taken for granted, by many persons, that Chris- 
tianity is not so much as a subject of inquiry; 
but that it is, now at length, discovered to be 
fictitious ;" and he wrote his great work for the 
purpose of arguing the reasonableness of the 
christian religion, even on the principles of the 
Deism prevalent everywhere around him in the 

Darkness before Dawn. 23 

Church and society. Addison had declared 
that there was " less appearance of religion in 
England than in any neighbouring state or 
kingdom, whether Protestant or Catholic ;" and 
Montesquieu came to the country, and having 
made his notes, published, probably with some 
French exaggeration, that there was " no re- 
ligion in England, and that the subject, if men- 
tioned in society, excited nothing but laughter." 
Such was the state of England, when, as we 
must think, by the special providence of God, 
the voices were heard crying in the wilderness. 
From the earlier years of the last century they 
continued sounding with such clearness and 
strength, from the centre to the remotest 
corners of the kingdom; from the coasts, 
where the Cornish wrecker pursued his strange 
craft of crime, along all the highways and 
hedges, where rudeness and violence of every 
description made their occasions for theft, out- 
rage, and cruelty, until the whole English na- 
tion became, as if instinctively, alive with a 
new-born soul, and not in vision, but in reality, 
something was beheld like that seen by the 
prophet in the valley of vision — dry bones 
clothed with flesh, and standing up " an ex- 
ceeding great army," no longer on the side of 
corruption and death, but ready with song and 
speech, and consistent living, to take their 
place on the side of the Lord. 

24 The Great Revival, 



IN the history of the circumstances which 
brought about the Great Revival, we must not 
fail to notice those which were in action even be- 
fore the great apostles of the Revival appeared. 
We have already given what may almost be 
called a silhouette of society, an outline, for 
the most part, all dark; and yet in the same 
period there were relieving tints, just as some- 
times, upon a silhouette-portrait, you have seen 
an attempt to throw in some resemblance to 
the features by a touch of gold. 

Chief among these is one we do not remem- 
ber ever to have seen noticed in this connec- 
tion — the curious invasion of our country by the 
French at the close of the seventeenth century. 
That cruel exodus which poured itself upon 
our shores in the great and even horrible per- 
secution of the Protectants of France, when the 
blind bigotry of Louis XIV. revoked the Edict 
of Nantes, was to us, as a nation, a really incal- 
culable blessing. It is quite singular, in read- 
ing Dr. Smiles's Huguenots, to notice the large 

First Streaks of Dawn. 25 

variety of names of illustrious exiles, eminent for 
learning, science, character, and rank, who found 
a refuge here. The folly of the King of France 
expelled the chief captains of industry; they 
came hither and established their manufactures 
in different departments, creating and carrying 
on new modes of industry. Also great num- 
bers of Protestant clergymen settled here, and 
formed respectable French churches; some of 
the most eminent ministers of our various de- 
nominations at this moment are descendants 
of those men. Their descendants are in our 
peerage; they are on our bench of bishops; 
they are at the bar; they stand high in the 
ranks of commerce. At the commencement 
of the eighteenth century, their ancestors were 
settled on English shores ; in all instances 
men who had fled from comfort and domes- 
tic peace, in many instances from affluence and 
fame, rather than be false to their conscience 
or to their Saviour. The cruelties of that dread- 
ful persecution which banished from France 
almost every human element it was desirable 
to retain in it, while they were, no doubt, there 
the great ultimate cause of the French Revolu- 
tion, brought to England what must have been 
even as the very seasoning of society, the salt 
of our earth in the subsequent age of corrup- 
tion. Most of the children of these men 

26 The Great Revival. 

were brought up in the discipline of religious 
households, such as that which Sir Samuel 
Romilly — himself one of the descendants of an 
earlier band of refugees. Dr. Watts's mother 
was a child of a French exile. Clusters of 
them grew up in many neighbourhoods in the 
country, notably in Southampton, Norwich, 
Canterbury, in many parts of London, where 
Spitalfields especially was a French colony. 
When the Revival commenced, these were 
ready to aid its various movements by their 
character and influence. Some fell into the 
Wesleyan ranks, though, probably, most, like 
the eminent scholar and preacher, William 
Romaine, one of the sons of the exile, main- 
tained the more Calvinistic faith, reflecting 
most nearly the old creed of the Huguenot. 

This surmise of the influence of that noble 
invasion upon the national well-being of Brit- 
ain is justified by inference from the facts. It 
is very interesting to attempt to realise the 
religious life of eminent activity and usefulness 
sustained in different parts of the country be- 
fore the Revival dawned, and which must have 
had an influence in fostering it when it arose. 
And, indeed, while we would desire to give all 
grateful honour to the extraordinary men (espe- 
cially to such a man as John Wesley, who 
achieved so much through a life in which the 

First Streaks of Dawn. 27 

length and the usefulness were equal to each 
other, since only when he died did he cease to 
animate by his personal influence the immense 
organisation he had formed), yet it seems really 
impossible to regard any one mind as the seed 
and source of the great movement. It was as 
if some cyclone of spiritual power swept all 
round the nation — or, as if a subtle, unseen train 
had been laid by many men, simultaneously, in 
many counties, and the spark was struck, and 
the whole was suddenly wrapped in a Divine 

Dr. Abel Stevens, in his most interesting, 
indeed, charming history of Methodism, from 
his point of view, gives to his own beloved 
leader and Church the credit of the entire 
movement ; so also does Mr. Tyerman, in his 
elaborate life of Wesley. But this is quite 
contrary to all dispassionate dealing with 
facts ; there were many men and many means 
in quiet operation, some of these even before 
Wesley was born, of which his prehensile mind 
availed itself to draw them into his gigantic 
work ; and there were many which had operat- 
ed, and continued to operate, which would not 
fit themselves into his exact, and somewhat 
exacting, groove of Church life. 

We have said it was as if a cyclone of spiritual 
power were steadily sweeping round the minds 

28 The Great Revival. 

of men and nations, for there were undoubted 
gusts of remarkable spiritual life in both hemi- 
spheres, at least fifty years before Methodism 
had distinctly asserted itself as a fact. Most 
remarkable was the " Great Awakening" in 
America, in Massachusetts — especially at 
Northampton (that is a remarkable story, which 
will always be associated with the name of 
Jonathan Edwards). We have referred to the 
exodus of the persecuted from France ; equally 
remarkable was another exodus of persecuted 
Protestants from Salzburg, in Austria. The 
madness of the Church of Rome again cast 
forth an immense host of the holiest and most 
industrious citizens. At the call of conscience 
they marched forth in a body, taking joyfully 
the spoiling of their goods rather than disavow 
their faith : such men with their families are a 
treasure to any nation amongst whom they may 
settle. Thomas Carlyle has paid a glowing 
historical eulogy to the memory of these men, 
and the exodus has furnished Goethe with the 
subject of one of his most charming poems. 

Philip Doddridge's work was almost done be- 
fore the Methodist movement was known. It 
seems to us that no adequate honour has ever yet 
been paid to that most beautiful and remark- 
ably inclusive life. It was public, it was known 
and noticed, but it was passed almost in retreat 

* See Appendix C. 

First Streaks of Dawn. 29 

in Northampton. That he was a preacher and 
pastor of a Church was but a slight portion of 
the life which succumbed, yet in the prime of 
his days, to consumption. His academy for 
the education of young ministers seems to us, 
even now, something like a model of what such 
an academy should be ; his lectures to his stu- 
dents are remarkably full and scholarly and 
complete. From thence went forth men like 
the saintly Risdon Darracott, the scholarly and 
suggestive Hugh Farmer, Benjamin Fawcett, 
and Andrew Kippis. The hymns of Doddridge 
were among the earliest, as they are still 
among the sweetest, of that kind of offering to 
our modern Church ; their clear, elevated, 
thrush-like sweetness, like the more uplifted 
seraphic trumpet tones of Watts, broke in upon 
a time when there was no sacred song worthy 
of the name in the Church, and anticipated the 
hour when the melodious acclamations of the 
people should be one of the most cherished ele- 
ments of Christian service. 

And Isaac Watts was, by far, the senior of 
Doddridge; he lived very much the life of a 
hermit. Although the pastor of a city church, 
he was sequestered and withdrawn from public 
life in Theobalds, or Stoke Newington, where, 
however, he prosecuted a course of sacred labor 
of a marvellously manifold description, inter- 


The Great Revival. 

meddling with every kind of learning, and con- 
secrating it all to the great end of the christian 
ministry and the producing of books, which, 
whether as catechisms for children, treatises for 


the formation of mental character, philosophic 
essays grappling with the difficulties of schol- 
arly minds, or " comfortable words" to " rock 
the cradle of declining age," were all to become 

First Streaks of Dawn. 


of value when the nation should awake to a real 
spiritual power. They are mostly laid aside 
now ; but they have served more than one 
generation well; and he, beyond question, was 


the first who taught the Protestant Christian 
Church in England to sing. His hymns and 
psalms were sounding on when John Wesley 
was yet a child, and numbers of them were ap- 

32 The Great Revival. 

propriated in the first Methodist hymn-book. 
But Watts and Doddridge, by the conditions 
of their physical and mental being, were unfit- 
ted for popular leaders. Perhaps, also, it must 
be admitted that they had not that which has 
been called the " instinct for souls;" they were 
concerned rather to illustrate and expound the 
truth of God, and to " adorn the doctrine of 
God our Saviour," by their lives, than to flash 
new convictions into the hearts of men. It is 
characteristic that, good and great as they 
were, they were both at first inimical to the 
Great Revival; it seemed to them a suspicious 
movement. The aged Watts cautioned his 
younger friend Doddridge against encouraging 
it, especially the preaching of Whitefield; yet 
they both lived to give their whole hearts to it; 
and some of Watts's last words were in blessing, 
when, near death, he received a visit from the 
great evangelist. 

Thus we need to notice a little carefully the 
age immediately preceding the rise of what we 
call Methodism, in order to understand what 
Methodism really effected ; we have seen that 
the dreadful condition of society was not incon- 
sistent with the existence over the country of 
eminently holy men, and of even hallowed 
christian families and circles. If space allowed, 
it would be very pleasant to step into, and 

First Streaks of Dawn. 35 

sketch the life of many an interior; and it would 
scarcely be a work of fancy, but of authentic 
knowledge. There were yet many which al- 
most retained the character of Puritan house- 
holds, and among them several baronial halls. 
Nor ought we to forget that those consistent 
and high-minded Christian folk, the Quakers 
[Friends], were a much larger body then than 
now, although, like the Shunammite lady, they 
especially dwelt among their own people. The 
Moravians also were in England; but all existed 
like little scattered hamlet patches of spiritual 
life; they were respectably conservative of their 
own usages. Methodism brought enthusiasm 
to religion, and the instinct for souls, united to 
a power of organisation hitherto unknown to 
the religious life. 

At what hour shall we fix the earliest dawn 
of. the Great Revival ? Among the earliest 
tints of the " morning spread upon the mount- 
ains," which was to descend into the valley, and 
illuminate all the plains, was the conversion of 
that extraordinary woman, Selina Shirley, the 
Countess of Huntingdon ; it is scarcely too 
much to call her the Mother of the Revival ; it 
is not too much to apply to her the language of 
the great Hebrew song — " The inhabitants of 
the villages ceased, they ceased until that I 
arose : I arose a mother in Israel." She illus- 

36 The Great Revival. 

trates the difference of which we spoke just 
now, for there can be no doubt that she had a 
passionate instinct for souls, to do good to 
souls, to save souls. Her injunctions for the 
destruction of all her private papers have been 
so far complied with as to leave the earlier his- 
tory of her mind, and the circumstances which 
brought about her conversion, for the most part 
unknown. It is certain that she was on terms 
of intimate friendship with both Watts and 
Doddridge, but especially with Doddridge. 
Another intimate friend of the Countess was 
Watts's very close friend, the Duchess of Som- 
erset ; and thus the links of the story seem to 
run, like that old and well-known instance of 
communicated influence, when Andrew found 
his own brother, Simon, and these in turn found 
Philip and Nathaniel. It was very natural that, 
beholding the state of society about her, she 
should be interested, first, as it seems, for those 
of her own order ; it was at a later time, when 
she became acquainted with Whitefield, that he 
justified her drawing-room assemblies, by re- 
minding her — not, perhaps, with exact critical 
propriety — of the text in Galatians, where Paul 
mentioned how he preached " privately to those 
of reputation."* For some time this appears to 
have been the aim of the good Countess, much in 
accordance with that pretty saying of hers, that 

* Appendix D. 

First Streaks of Dawn. 37 

"there was a text in which she blessed God for 
the insertion of the letter M: ' not Many noble.'" 
The beautiful Countess was a heroine in her 
own line from the earliest days of her conver- 
sion. Belonging to one of the noblest families 
of England, she had an entrance to the highest 
circles, and her heart felt very pitiful for, espe- 
cially, the women of fashion around her, broken- 
hearted with disappointment, or sick with ennui. 
Among these was Sarah, the great Duchess 
of Marlborough, apparently one of the intimate 
friends of the Countess ; her letters are most 
characteristic. She mentions that the Duch- 
ess of Ancaster, Lady Townshend, and others, 
had just heard Mr. Whitefield preach, and 
" What they said of the sermon has made me 
lament ever since that I did not hear it ; it 
might have been the means of doing me some 
good, for good, alas ! I do want ; but where 
among the corrupt sons and daughters of Adam 
am I to find it ?" She goes on : " Dear, good 
Lady Huntingdon, I have no comfort in my 
own family ; Ihope you will shortly come and 
see me ; I always feel more happy and more 
contented after an hour's conversation with 
you ; when alone, my reflections and recollec- 
tion almost kill me. Now there is Lady Fran- 
ces Saunderson's great rout to-morrow night ; 
all the world will be there, and I must go. I 

38 The Great Revival. 

hate that woman as much as I hate a physician, 
but I must go, if for no other purpose than to 
mortify and spite her. This is very wicked, I 
know, but I confess all my little peccadilloes to 
you, for I know your goodness will lead you to 
be mild and forgiving ; and perhaps my wicked 
heart may gain some good from you in the end." 
And then she closes her note with some re- 
marks on " that crooked, perverse little wretch 
at Twickenham," by which pleasant designation 
she means the poet, Pope. 

Another, and another order of character, was 
the Duchess of Buckingham ; she came to hear 
Whitefield preach in the drawing-room, and 
was quite scandalised. In a letter to the 
Countess, she says, " The doctrines are most 
repulsive, and strongly tinctured with imperti- 
nence : it is monstrous to be told that you have 
a heart as sinful as the common wretches that 
crawl the earth ; this is highly offensive and 
insulting, and I cannot but wonder that your 
ladyship should relish any sentiments so much 
at variance with high rank and good breeding." 
Such were some of the materials the Countess 
attempted to gather in her drawing-rooms, if 
possible to cure the aching of empty hearts. If 
the two duchesses met together, it is very likely 
they would be antipathetic to each other ; a 
prouder old lady than Sarah, the English em- 

First Streaks of Dawn. 39 

pire did not contain, but she was proud that 
she was the wife and widow of the great Marl- 
borough. The Duchess of Buckingham was 
equally proud that she was the natural daugh- 
ter of James II. When her son, the Duke of 
Buckingham, died, she sent to the old Duchess 
of Marlborough to borrow the magnificent car 
which had borne John Churchill's body to the 
Abbey, and the fiery old Duchess sent her back 
word, " It had carried Lord Marlborough, and 
should never be profaned by any other corpse." 
The message was not likely to act as an entente 
cordiale in such society as we have described. 

The mention of these names will show the 
reader that we are speaking of a time when the 
Revival had not wrought itself into a great 
movement. The Countess continued to make 
enthusiastic efforts for those of her own order — 
we are afraid, with a few distinguished excep- 
tions, without any great amount of success; 
but certainly, were it possible for us to look 
into the drawing-room in South Audley Street, 
in those closing years of the reign of George II., 
we might well be astonished at the brilliancy 
of the concourse, and the finding ourselves 
in the company of some of the most distin- 
guished names of the highest rank and fashion 
of the period. It was the age of that cold, sar- 
donic sneerer, Horace Walpole; he writes to 

40 The Great Revival. 

Florence, to his friend Sir Horace Mann, in his 
scoffing fashion : " If you ever think of return- 
ing to England, you must prepare yourself with 
Methodism; this sect increases as fast as almost 
any religious nonsense ever did; Lady Fanny 
Shirley has chosen this way of bestowing the 
dregs of her beauty, and Lyttleton is very near 
making the same sacrifice of the dregs of all 
those various characters that he has worn. The 
Methodists love your big sinners as proper sub- 
jects to work upon, and indeed they have a 
plentiful harvest." Then he satirises Lady 
Ferrars, whom he styles " General, my Lady 
Dowager Ferrars." But, indeed, it is impossible 
to enumerate the names of all, or any propor- 
tion of the number who attended this brilliant 
circle. Sometimes unhappy events took place; 
Mr. Whitefield was sometimes too dreadfully, 
although unconsciously, faithful. Lady Rock- 
ingham, who really seems to have been in- 
clined to do good, begged the Countess to per- 
mit her to bring the Countess of Suffolk, well 
known as the powerful mistress of George II. 
Whitefield "knew nothing of the matter;" but 
some arrow " drawn at a venture," and which 
probably might have as well fitted many 
another lady about the court or in that very 
room, exactly hit the Countess. However 
much she fidgeted with irritation, she sat out 

First Streaks of Dawn. » 41 

the service in silence; but, as soon as it was 
over, the beautiful fury burst forth in all the 
stormful speech of a termagant or virago. She 
abused Lady Huntingdon; she declared that 
the whole service had been a premeditated 
attack upon herself. Her relatives, Lady Ber- 
tie, the celebrated Lady Bet^y Germain, the 
Duchess of Ancaster, one of the most beautiful 
women in England, and who, afterwards, with 
the Duchess of Hamilton, conducted the future 
queen of George III. to England's shores, ex- 
postulated with her, commanded her to be 
silent, and attempted to explain her mistake; 
they insisted that she should apologise to Lady 
Huntingdon for her behaviour, and, in an un- 
gracious manner, she did so; but we learn that 
she never honoured the assembly again with 
her presence. 

What a singular assembly from time to time! 
the square dark face of that old gentleman, 
painfully hobbling in on his crutched stick — 
face once as handsome as that of St. John, now 
the disappointed, moody features of the mas- 
sive, but sceptical intelligence of Bolingbroke; 
poor worn-out old Chesterfield, cold and court- 
ly, yet seeming so genial and humane, coming 
again and again, and yet again; those reckless 
wits, and leaders of the ton and all high 
society, Bubb Doddington, afterwards Lord 

42 The Great Revival. 

Melcombe, and George Selwyn; the Duchess of 
Montague, with her young daughter ; Lady 
Cardigan, often there, if her mother, Sarah 
of Marlborough, were but seldom a visitor. 
Charles Townshend, the great minister, often 
came; and his friend, Lord Lyttleton, who 
really must have been in sympathy with some 
of the objects of the assembly, if we may judge 
from his Essay on the Conversion of St. Paul, a 
piece of writing which will never lose its value. 
There you might have seen even the great 
commoner, William Pitt, afterwards Earl of 
Chatham; but we can understand why he would 
be there to listen to the manifold notes of an 
eloquence singularly resembling, in many par- 
ticulars, his own. And, in fact, where such per- 
sons were present, we might be sure that the 
entire nobility of the country was represented. 
It might be tempting to loiter amidst these 
scenes a little longer. It was an experiment 
made by the Countess; she probably found it 
almost a failure, and, in the course of a few 
years, turned her attention to the larger ideas 
connected with the evangelisation of England, 
and the training of young men for the work of 
the ministry. She long outlived all those 
brilliant hosts she had gathered round her in 
the prime of life. But we cannot doubt that 
some good was effected by this preaching to 

First Streaks of Dawn. 43 

" people of reputation." Courtiers like Wal- 
pole sneered, but it saved the movement to a 
great degree, when it became popular, from 
being suspected as the result of political fac- 
tion; and probably, as all these nobles and 
gentry passed away to their various country 
seats, when they heard of the preachers in 
their neighbourhoods, and received the com- 
plaints of the bishops and their clergy, with 
some contempt for the messengers, they were 
able to feel, and to say, that there was nothing 
much more dreadful than the love of God and 
His good will to men in their message. 

It seems a very sudden leap from the saloons 
of the West End to a Lincolnshire kitchen; but 
in the kitchen of that most romantic old vicar- 
age of Epworth, it has been truly said, the 
most vigorous form of Methodism had its origin. 
There, at the close of the seventeenth century, 
and the commencement of the eighteenth, 
lived and laboured old Samuel Wesley, the 
father of John and Charles Wesley. Samuel 
was in every sense a wonderful man, more won- 
derful than most people know, though Mr. 
Tyerman has done his best to set him forth in 
a very clear and pleasant light, in his very enter- 
taining biography. Scholar, preacher, pastor, 
and poet was Samuel Wesley; he led a life full 
of romantic incident, and full of troubles, of 

44 The Great Revival. 

which the two most notable are debts and 
ghosts: debts, we must say, in passing, which 
had more to do with unavoidable calamity 
than with any personal imprudence. The 
good man would have been shocked, and have 
counted it one of his sorest troubles, could he, 
in some real horoscope, have forecast what 
" Jackey," his son John, was to be. But it was 
his wife, Susannah Wesley, patient housewife, 
much-enduring, much-suffering woman, Mary 
and Martha in one, saint as sacredly sweet as 
any who have seemed worthy of a place in any 
calendar of saints, Catholic or Protestant, 
mother of children, all of whom were remark- 
able — two of them wonderful, and a third high- 
ly eminent — it was Susannah Wesley, whose 
instinct for souls led her to look abroad over all 
the parish in which she lived, with a tender, 
spiritual affection; in her husband's absence, 
turning the large kitchen into a church, invit- 
ing her.poor neighbours into it, and, somewhat 
at first to the distress of her husband, preach- 
ing to and praying with them there. This brief 
reference can only memorialise her name; read 
John Kirk's little volume, and learn to love 
and revere " the mother of the Wesleys ! " The 
freedom and elevation of her religious life, and 
her practical sagacity, it is not difficult to see, 
must have given hints and ideas which took 

First Streaks of Dawn. 45 

shape and body in the large movement of which 
her son John came to be regarded, and is still 
regarded, as the patriarch. Thus Isaac Tay- 
lor says, " The Wesleys' mother was the mother 
of Methodism in a religious and moral sense, 
for her courage, her submissiveness to author- 
ity, the high tone of her mind, its independence, 
and its self-control, the warmth of her devo- 
tional feelings, and the practical direction giv- 
en to them, came up, and were visibly repeated 
in the character and conduct of her sons." 
Later on in life she became one of the wisest 
advisers of her son, in his employment of the 
auxiliaries to his own usefulness. Perhaps, if 
we could see spirits as they are, we might see 
in this woman a higher and loftier type of life 
than in either of those who first received life 
from her bosom; some of her quiet words have 
all the passion and sweetness of Charles's 
hymns. Our space will not permit many quo- 
tations, but take the following words, and the 
sweet meditation in prose of the much-endur- 
ing, and often patiently suffering lady in the 
old world country vicarage, which read like 
many of her son's notes in verse: " If to esteem 
and have the highest reverence for Thee; if 
constantly and sincerely to acknowledge Thee 
the supreme, and only desirable good, be to love 
Thee, I DO LOVE Thee! If to rejoice in Thy es- 

4.6 The Great Revival. 

sential majesty and glory; if to feel a vital joy 
overspread and cheer the heart at each percep- 
tion of Thy blessedness, at every thought that 
Thou art God, and that all things are in Thy 
power; that there is none superior or equal to 
Thee, be to love Thee, I DO love Thee! If 
comparatively to despise and undervalue all the 
world contains, which is esteemed great, fair, 
or good; if earnestly and constantly to desire 
Thee, Thy favour, Thy acceptance, Thyself, 
rather than any, or all things Thou hast created, 
be to love Thee, I do love Thee! " At length 
she died as she had lived, her last words to her 
sons breathing the spirit of her singular life: 
''Children, as soon as I am released, sing a 
psalm of praise to God!" 

Thus, from the polite circles of London, from 
the obscure old farm-like vicarage, the rude and 
rough old English home, events were preparing 
themselves. John Wesley was born in 1703 ; 
the Countess of Huntingdon in 1707 : near in 
their birth time, how far apart the scenery and 
the circumstances in which their eyes first 
opened to the light. Whitefield was born 
later, amidst the still less auspicious scenery of 
the old Bell Inn, at Gloucester, in 1714. These 
were undoubtedly among the foremost names 
in the great palpitation of thought, feeling, and 
holy action the country was to experience. 

First Streaks of Dawn. 47 

Future chapters will show a number of other 
names, which were simultaneously coming 
forth and educating for the great conflict. So 
it has always been, and singularly so, as illus- 
trating the order of Providence, and the way in 
which it gives a new personality to the men 
whom it designs to aid its purposes. In every 
part of the country, all unknown to each other, 
in families separated by position and taste, by 
birth and circumstances, a band of workers was 
preparing to produce an entire moral change in 
the features of the country. 

48 The Great Revival. 



It is remarkable that one of the very earliest 
movements of the new evangelical succession 
should manifest itself in Oxford — many minded 
Oxford — whose distant spires and antique tow- 
ers have looked down through so many ages 
upon the varying opinions which have surged 
up around and within her walls. Lord Bacon 
has somewhere said that the opinions, feelings, 
and thoughts of the young men of any present 
generation forecast the whole popular mind of 
the future age. No remark can be more true, 
as exhibited generally in fact. Thus it is not 
too much to say that Oxford has usually been 
a barometer of coming opinions : either by her 
adhesion or antagonism to them, she has indi- 
cated the pathway of the nearing weather, either 
for calm or storm. It was so in the dark ages, 
with the old scholastic philosophy ; it was so 
in the times immediately succeeding them : in 
our own day, the great Tractarian movement, 
with all its influences Rome-ward, arose in 
Oxford ; later still, the strong tendencies of 

Oxford: New Lights and Old Lanterns. 49 

high intellectual infidelity, and denial of the 
sacred prerogatives and rights of the Holy 
Scriptures, sent forth some of their earliest 
notes from Oxford. Oxford has been likened 
to the magnificent conservatory at Chatsworth, 
where art combines with nature, and achieves 
all that wealth and taste could command ; 
but the air is heavy and close, and rich as 
the forms and colours are around the spec- 
tator, there is depression and repression, even 
a sense of oppression, upon the spirits, and we 
are glad to escape into the breezy chase, and 
among the old trees again. This is hardly 
true of Oxford ; no doubt the air is hushed, and 
the influences combine to weigh down the mere 
visitor by a sense of the hoariness of the past, 
and the black antiquity and frost of ages ; but 
somehow there is a mind in Oxford which is 
always alive — not merely a scholarly knowl- 
edge, but a subtle apprehension of the coming 
winds — even as certain creatures forebode and 
know the coming storm before the rain falls or 
the thunder rolls. 

We may presume that most of our readers 
are acquainted with the designation, " the Ox- 
ford Methodists ;" but, perhaps, some are not 
aware that the term was applied to a cluster of 
young students, who, in a time when the uni- 
versity was delivered over to the usual disso- 

50 The Great Revival. 

luteness and godless indifference of the age, 
met together in each other's rooms for the 
purpose of sustaining each other in the determi- 
nation to live a holy life, and to bring their 
mutual help to the reading and opening of the 
Word of God. From different parts of the 
country they met together there; when they 
went forth, their works, their spheres were 
different ; but the power and the beauty of the 
old college days seem to have accompanied 
them through life ; they realised the Divine life 
as a real power from that commencement to the 
close of their career, although it is equally 
interesting to notice how the framework of 
their opinions changed. Some of their names 
are comparatively unknown now, but John and 
Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, and James 
Hervey, are well known ; nor is John Gambold 
unknown, nor Benjamin Ingham, who married 
into the family of the Countess of Huntingdon, 
of whom we will speak a little more particularly 
when we visit the wild Yorkshire of those days ; 
nor Morgan of Christ Church, whose influence 
is described as the- most beautiful of all, a 
young man of delicate constitution and intense 
enthusiasm, who visited and talked with the 
prisoners in the neighbourhood, visited the 
cottages around to read and pray, left his 
memory as a blessing upon his companions, 

Oxford: New Lights and Old Lanterns. 51 

and was very early called away to his reward. 
This obscure life seems to have been one most 
honoured in that which came to be called by 
the wits of Oxford, " The Holy Club." 

It was just about this time that Voltaire was 
predicting that, in the next generation, Chris- 
tianity would be overthrown and unknown 
throughout the whole civilised world. Chris- 
tianity has lived through, and long outlived 
many such predictions. Voltaire had said, "It 
took twelve men to set up Christianity ; it 
would only take one" (conceitedly referring to 
himself) " to overthrow it ;" but the work of 
those whom he called the " twelve men" is 
still of some account in the world — their words 
are still of some authority, and there are very few 
people on the face of the earth at this moment 
who know much of, and fewer still who care 
much for the wit of the vain old infidel. That 
Voltaire's prediction was not fulfilled, under 
the Providential influence of that Divine Spirit 
who never leaves us in our low estate, was greatly 
owing to this obscure and despised " Holy 
Club" of Oxford. These young men were feel- 
ing their way, groping, as they afterwards ad- 
mitted, and somewhat in the dark, after those 
experiences, which, as they were to be assur- 
ances to themselves, should be also their most 
certain means of usefulness to others. 

52 The Great Revival. 

They were also called Methodists. It is 
singular, but neither the precise etymology nor 
the first appropriation of the term Methodist 
has, we believe, ever been distinctly or satis- 
factorily settled. Some have derived it from 
an allusion in Juvenal to a quack physician, 
some to a passage from the writings of Chry- 
sostom, who says, " to be a methodist is to be 
beguiled," and which was employed in a 
pamphlet against Mr. Whitefield. Like some 
other phrases, it is not easy to settle its first 
import or importation into our language. Cer- 
tainly it is much older than the times to which 
this book especially refers. It seems to be 
even contemporary with the term Puritan, 
since we find Spencer, the librarian of Sion 
College under Cromwell, writing, " Where are 
now our Anabaptists and plain pack-staff 
Methodists, who esteem all flowers of rhetoric 
in sermons no better than stinking weeds ?" A 
writer in the British Quarterly tells a curious 
story how once in a parish church in Hunting- 
fdonshire, he was listening to a clergyman, 
notorious alike by his private character and 
vehement intolerance, who was entertaining 
his audience, on a week evening, by a discourse 
from the text, Ephesians iv. 14, " Whereby 
they lie in wait to deceive." He said to his 
people, " Now, you do not know Greek; I know 

Oxford: New Lights and Old Lanterns. 53 

Greek, and 1 am going to tell you what this 
text really says; it says, 'they lie in wait to 
make you Methodists.' The word used here is 
Methodeian, that is really the word that is used, 
and that is really what Paul said, ' They lie in 
wait to. make you Methodists' — a Methodist 
means a deceiver, and one who deludes, cheats, 
and beguiles." The Grecian scholar was a 
little at fault in his next allusion, for he pro- 
ceeded to quote that other text, "We are 
not ignorant of his devices," and seemed to be 
under the impression that "device" was the 
same word as that on which he had expended 
his criticism. " Now," said he, " you may be 
ignorant, because you do not know Greek, but 
we are not ignorant of his devices, that is, of 
his methods, his deceivers, that is, his Method- 
ists." In such empty wit and ignorant punning 
it is very likely that the term had its origin. 

John Wesley passed through a long, singu- 
lar, and what we may call a parti-coloured ex- 
perience, before his mind came out into the 
light. In those days his mind was a singular 
combination of High Churchism, amounting to 
what we should call Ritualism now, and mys- 
ticism, both of which influences he brought 
from Epworth : the first from his father, the 
second from the strong fascination of the writ- 
ings of William Law. He found, however, in 

54 The Great Revival. 

the " Holy Club" that which helped him. He 
tells us how, when at Epworth, he travelled 
many miles to see a " serious man," and to take 
counsel from him. " Sir," said this person, as 
if the right word were given to him at the right 
moment, exactly meeting the necessities of the 
man standing before him, " Sir, you wish to 
serve God and to go to heaven : remember you 
cannot serve Him alone; you must therefore 
find companions, or make them. The Bible 
knows nothing of solitary religion." It must 
be admitted that the enthusiasm of the mystics 
has always been rather personal than social; 
but the society at Oxford was almost monastic, 
nor is it wonderful that, with the spectacle of 
the dissolute life around them, these earnest 
men adopted rules of the severest # self-denial 
and asceticism. John Wesley arrived in Oxford 
first in 1720; he left for some time. Returning 
home to assist his father, he became, as we 
know, to his father's immense exultation, Fel- 
low of Lincoln College. 

In 1733 George Whitefield arrived at Oxford, 
then in his nineteenth year. Like most of this 
band, Whitefield was, if not really, compara- 
tively poor, and dependent upon help to enable 
him to pursue his studies; not so poor, perhaps, 
as an illustrious predecessor in the same col- 
lege (Pembroke), who had left only the year 

Oxford: New Lights and Old Lanterns. 55 

before, one Samuel Johnson, the state of whose 
shoes excited so much commiseration in some 
benevolent heart, that a pair of new ones was 
placed outside his rooms, only, however, creat- 
ing surprise in the morning, when he was seen 
indignantly kicking them up and down the 
passage. Whiteneld was not troubled* by such 
over-sensitive and delicate feelings ; men are 
made differently. Johnson's rugged independ- 
ence did its work ; and the easy facility and 
amiable disposition, which could receive fa- 
vours without a sense of degradation, were very 
essential to what Whiteneld was to be. He, 
however, when he came to Oxford, was caught 
in the same glamour of mysticism as John Wes- 
ley. But in this case it was Thomas a-Kempis 
who had besieged the soul of the young 
enthusiast ; he was miserable, his life, his heart 
and mind were crushed beneath this altogether 
inhuman and unattainable standard for salva- 
tion. He was a Quietist — what a paradox ! — 
Whiteneld a Quietist ! He was seeking salva- 
tion by works of righteousness which he could 
do. He was practising the severest austerities 
and renouncing the claims of an external world ; 
he was living an internal life which God did not 
intend should bring to him either rest or calm; 
for, in that case, how could he ever have stirred 
the deep foundations of universal sympathy ? 

56 TJu Great Revival. 

But that heart, whose very mould was tender- 
ness, was easily called aside by the sight of 
suffering ; and there is an interesting story, 
how, at this time, in one of his walks by the 
banks of the river, in such a frame of mind 
as we have described, he met a poor woman 
whose appearance was discomposed. Naturally 
enough, he talked with her, and found that her 
husband was in the gaol in Oxford, that she 
had run away from home, unable to endure any 
longer the crying of her children from hunger, 
and that she even then meditated drowning 
herself. He gave her immediate relief, but 
arranged with her to meet him, and see her 
husband together in the evening at the pris- 
on. He appears to have done them both 
good, ministering to their temporal necessities; 
he prayed with them, brought them to the 
knowledge of the grace which saves, and late 
on in life he says, ''They are both now living, 
and I trust will be my joy and crown of rejoic- 
ing in the day of the Lord Jesus." Happy is 
the man to whose life such an incident as this • 
is given ; it calls life away from its dreary 
introspections, and sets it upon a trail of out- 
wardness, which is spiritual health ; no one 
can attain to much religious happiness until he 
knows that he has been the means of good to 
some suffering soul. Faith grows in us by the 

Oxford: New Lights and Old Lanterns. 57 

revelation that we have been used to do good 
to others. 

It was about this time that Charles Wesley 
met Whitefield moodily walking through the 
college corridors. The misery of his appear- 
ance struck him, and he invited him to his 
rooms to breakfast. The memory of the meet- 
ing never passed away ; Charles Wesley refers 
to it in his elegy on Whitefield. In a short 
time he leaped forth into spiritual freedom, and 
almost immediately became, youth as he was, 
preacher, and we may almost say, apostle. 
The change in his mind seems to have been as 
instantaneous and as luminous as Luther's at 
Erfurt. Whitefield was at work, commencing 
upon his own great scale, long before the Wes- 
leys. John had to go to America, and to be 
entangled there by his High Church notions ; 
and then there were his Moravian proclivities, 
so that, altogether, years passed by before he 
found his way out into a light so clear as to be 
able to reflect it on the minds of others. 

To some of the members of this " Holy Club," 
we shall not be able to refer again; we must, 
therefore, mention them now. Especially is 
some reference due to James Hervey; his name 
is now rather a legend and tradition than an 
active influence in our religious literature ; but 
how popular once, do not the oldest memories 

58 The Great Revival. 

amongst us well know? On some important 
points of doctrine he parted company from his 
friends and fellow-students, the Wesleys. John 
Wesley used to declare that he himself was not 
? converted till his thirty-seventh year, so that 
we must modify any impressions we may have 
from similar declarations made by the amiable 
Vicar of Weston Favel : the term conversion, 
used in such a sense, in all probability means 
simply a change in the point of view, an alter- 
ation of opinion, giving a more clear apprehen- 
sion of truth. Hervey was always infirm in 
health, tall, spectral; and, while possessing a 
mind teeming with pleasing and poetic fancies, 
and a power of perceiving happy analogies, we 
should regard him as singularly wanting in that 
fine solvent of all true genius, geniality. Hence, 
all his letters read like sermons; but his poor, in- 
firm frame was the tabernacle of an intensely fer- 
vent soul. Shortly after his settlement in his vil- 
lage in Northamptonshire he was recommended 
by his physician to follow the plough, that he 
might receive the scent of the fresh earth; a cu- 
rious recommendation, but it led to a conversa- 
tion with the ploughman, which completely over- 
turned the young scholar's scheme of theology. 
The ploughman was a member of the Church 
of Dr. Doddridge, afterwards one of Hervey's 
most intimate friends. As they walked to- 

Oxford: New Lights and Old Lanterns. 59 

gether, the young minister asked the old 
ploughman what he thought was the hardest 
thing in religion ? The ploughman very re- 
spectfully returned the question. Hervey re- 
• plied, "I think the hardest thing in religion is 
to deny sinful self," and he proceeded, at some 
length, of course, to dilate upon and expound 
the difficulty, from which our readers will see 
that, at this time, his mind must have been 
under the same influences as those we meet in 
The Imitation of Thomas a-Kempis. " No, 
sir," said the old ploughman, "the hardest 
thing in religion is to deny righteous self," and 
he proceeded to unfold the principles of his 
faith. At the time, Hervey thought the 
ploughman a fool, but the conversation was not 
forgotten, and he declares that, it was this 
view of things which created for him a new 
creed. Our readers, perhaps, know his Theron 
and Aspasia: we owe that book to the conver- 
sation with the ploughman; all its pages, alive 
with descriptions of natural scenery, historical 
and classical allusion, and glittering with chro- 
matic fancy through the three thick volumes, 
are written for the purpose of unfolding and 
enforcing — to put it in old theological phraseol- 
ogy — the imputed and imparted righteousness 
of Christ, the great point of divergence in teach- 
ing between Hervey and John Wesley. 

60 The Great Revival. 

Thus the term Methodism cannot, any more 
than Christianity, be contented with, or con- 
tained in one particular line of opinion. Thus, 
for instance, among the members of the " Holy 
Club" we find the two Wesleys and others dis- 
tinctly Arminian — the apostles of that form of 
thought which especially teaches us that we 
must attain to the grace of God ; while White- 
field first, and Hervey afterwards, became the 
teachers of that doctrine which announces the 
irresistible grace of God as that which is out- 
side of us, and comes down upon us. No doubt 
the doctrines were too sharply separated by 
their respective leaders. In the ultimate issue, 
both believed alike that all was of grace, and 
all of God ; but experience makes every man's 
point of view ; as he feels, so he sees. The 
grand thought about all these men in this 
Great Revival was that they believed in, and 
untiringly and with immense confidence an- 
nounced, that which smote upon the minds of 
their hearers almost like a new revelation ; in 
an age of indifference and Deism they declared 
that " the grace of God hath appeared unto all 

There is a very interesting anecdote showing 
how, about this time, even the massive and 
sardonic intellect of Lord Bolingbroke almost 
gave way. He was called upon once by a 

Oxford: New Lights and Old Lanterns. 61 

High Church dignitary, his intimate friend, Dr. 
Church, Vicar of Battersea, and Prebendary of 
St. Paul's, to whom we have already referred as 
from the first opposed to the Revival, and, to 
the doctor's amazement, he found Bolingbroke 
reading Calvin's Institutes. The peer asked 
the preacher, the infidel the professed Chris- 
tian, what he thought of it. "Oh," said the 
doctor, " we think nothing of such antiquated 
stuff; we think it enough to preach the import- 
ance of morality and virtue, and have long 
given up all that talk about Divine grace." 
Bolingbroke's face and eyes were a study at all 
times, but we could wish to have seen him turn 
in his chair, and fix his eyes on the vicar as he 
said : " Look you, doctor. You know I don't 
believe the Bible to be a Divine revelation, but 
those who do can never defend it but upon the 
principle of the doctrine of Divine grace. To say 
the truth, there have been times when I have been 
almost persuaded to believe it upon this view of 
things; and there is one argument I have felt 
which has gone very far with me on behalf of its 
authenticity, which is, that the belief in it 
exists upon earth even when committed to the 
care of such as you, who pretend to believe in 
it, and yet deny the only principle upon which 
it is defensible." The worn-out statesman and 
hard-headed old peer hit the question of his 


The Great Revival. 

own day, and forecast all the sceptical strife of 
ours ; for all such questions are summed in one, 


(Where Jatnes Hervey Preached.) 

Is there supernatural grace, and has that grace 
appeared unto men ? This was the one faith 

Oxford: New Lights and Old Lanterns. 63 

of all these revivalists. The world was eager 
to hear it, for the aching heart of the world 
longs to believe that it is true. The conversa- 
tion we have recited shows that even Boling- 
broke wished that it might be true. 

The new creed of Hervey changed the whole 
character of his preaching. The little church 
of Weston Favel, a short distance from the 
town of Northampton, became quite a shrine 
for pilgrimages ; he was often compelled to 
preach in the churchyard. He was assuredly an 
intense lover of natural scenery, a student of 
natural theology of the old school. His writing 
is now said to be meretricious and gaudy. 
One critic says that children will always prefer 
a red to a wliite sugar-plum, and that the tea 
is nicer to them when they drink it from a 
cup painted with coloured flowers ; and this, 
perhaps, not unfairly, describes the style of 
Hervey ; we have prettiness rather than power, 
elegant disquisition rather than nervous'expres- 
sion, which is all the more wonderful, as he 
must have been an accomplished Latin scholar. 
But he had a mind of gorgeous fullness, and his 
splendid conceptions bore him into a train of 
what now seem almost glittering extrava- 
gances. Hervey was in the manner of his life 
a sickly recluse, and we easily call up the figure 
of the old bachelor — for he never married — 

64 The Great Revival. 

alternately watching his saucepan of gruel on 
the fire, and his favourite microscope on the 
study table. He was greatly beloved by the 
Countess of Huntingdon, perhaps yet more by 
Lady Fanny Shirley — the subject of Walpole's 
sneer. He was, no doubt, the writer of the 
movement, and its thoughts in his books must 
have seemed like " butter in a lordly dish." 
But his course was comparatively brief ; his 
work was accomplished at the age of forty-five. 
He died in his chair, his last words, "Lord, 
now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, 
for mine eyes have seen Thy most comfortable 
salvation ;" shortly after, " The conflict is over ; 
all is done ;" the last words of all, " Precious 
salvation." And so passed away one of the 
most amiable and accomplished of all the re- 

John Gambold, although ever an excellent 
and admirable man, lived the life rather of a 
secluded mystic, than that of an active reformer. 
He became a minister of the Church of Eng- 
land, but afterwards left that communion, not 
from any dissensions either from the doctrines 
or the discipline of the Church, but simply 
because he found his spiritual relationships 
more in harmony with those of the Moravians, 
of whose Church he died a bishop. We pre- 
sume few readers are acquainted with his 

Oxford: New Lights and Old Lanterns, 65 

poetical works ; nor are there many words 
among them of remarkable strength. The 
Mystery of Life is certainly pleasingly impres- 
sive ; and his epitaph on himself deserves 
quotation : 

"Ask not, ' Who ended here his span ?' 
His name, reproach, and praise, was Man. 
' Did no great deeds adorn his course ?' 
No deed of his but showed him worse : 
One thing was great, which God supplied, 
He suffered human life — and died. 
* What points of knowledge did he gain ?' 
That life was sacred all — and vain : 
' Sacred, how high ? and vain, how low ?' 
He knew not here, but died to know." 

Such were some of the men who went forth 
from Oxford. Meantime, as the flame of revival 
was spreading, Oxford again starts into singu- 
lar notice ; how the " Holy Club " escaped 
official censure and condemnation seems 
strange, but in 1768 the members of a similar 
club were, for meeting together for prayer and 
reading the Scriptures, all summarily expelled 
t from the university. Their number was seven. 
Several of the heads of houses spoke in their 
favour, the principal of their own hall, Dr. 
Dixon, moved an amendment against their ex- 
pulsion, on the ground of their admirable con- 
duct and exemplary piety. Not a word was 
alleged against them, only that some of them 

66 The Great Revival. 

were the sons of tradesmen, and that all of them 
"held Methodistical tenets, taking upon them 
to pray, read and expound the Scriptures, and 
sing hymns at private houses." These practices 
were considered as hostile to the Articles and 
interests of the Church of England, and sen- 
tence was pronounced against them. 

Of course this expulsion created a great agi- 
tation at the time ; and as the moral character 
of the young men was so perfectly unimpeach- 
able, it no doubt greatly aided the cause of the 
Revival. Dr. Home, Bishop of Norwich, author 
of the Commentary Oji the Psalms — no Meth- 
odist, although an admirable and evangelical 
man — denounced the measure in a pamphlet 
in the strongest terms. The well-known wit 
and Baptist minister of Devonshire Square in 
London, Macgowan, lashed the transaction in 
his piece called The Shaver. All the young 
men seem to have turned out well. Some, like 
Thomas Jones, who afterwards became curate 
of Clifton, and married the sister of Lady 
Austen, Cowper's friend — found admission into 
the Church of England ; the others instantly 
found help from the Countess of Huntingdon, 
who sent them to finish their studies at her 
college in Trevecca, and afterwards secured 
them places in connection with her work of 
evangelisation. The transaction gives a singu- 

Oxford: New Lights and Old Lanter?is. 6? 

lar idea of what Oxford was in 1768, and pre- 
pares us for the vehement persecutions by 
which the representatives of Oxford all over 
the country armed themselves to resist the 
Revival, whilst it justifies our designation of 
this chapter, " New Lights and Old Lanterns." 

68 The Great Revival. 



It was field-preaching, preaching in the open 
air, which first gave national distinctiveness to 
the Revival, and constituted it a movement. 
Assuredly any occasions of excitement we have 
known, give no idea whatever of the immense 
agitations which speedily rolled over the coun- 
try, from one end to the other, when these great 
revivalists began their work in the fields. And 
the excitement continued, rolling on through 
London, and through the counties of England, 
from the west to the north, not for days, weeks, 
or months merely, but through long years, until 
the religious life of the land was entirely re- 
kindled, and its morals and manners re-mould- 
ed; and all this, especially in its origination, 
without money, no large sums being subscribed 
or guaranteed to sustain the work. The work 
was done, not only without might or power, but 
assuredly in the very teeth of the malevolence 
of might and of power; nor is it too much to 
say that it probably would not have been done, 

Cast out from the Church. 6g 

could not have been done, had the churches, 
chapels, and great cathedrals been thrown open 
to the preachers. 

It seems a singular thing to say, but we 
should speak of Whitefield as the Luther of this 
Great Revival, and of Wesley as its Calvin. 
Both in the quality of their work and in their 
relation in point of time, this analogy is not so 
unnatural as it perhaps seems at first. The im- 
petuosity and passion, the vehemence and 
sleepless vigilance of Whitefield first broke 
open the way; the calm, cautious, frequently 
even nervously timid intelligence of Wesley 
organised the work. 

How could a writer, in a recent number of 
the Edinburgh Review, say: "It is a great 
mistake to complain, as so many do, that the 
Church cast out the Wesleys. We have seen 
at the beginning how kindly, and even cor- 
dially, they were treated by the leading mem- 
bers of the episcopate." Surely any history of 
Methodism contradicts this statement. Bishop 
Benson, indeed, ordained Whitefield, but he 
bitterly lamented to the Countess of Hunting- 
don that he had done so, attributing to him 
what seemed to the Bishop the mischief of the 
evangelical movement. "My lord," said the 
Countess, "mark my words: when you are on 
your dying bed, that will be one of the few or- 

yo The Great Revival. 

dinations you will reflect upon with complais- 

The words were, in a remarkable degree, 
prophetic; when the Bishop was on his death- 
bed he sent ten guineas to Mr. Whitefield as a 
token of his " regard, veneration, and affec- 
tion," and begged the great field-preacher to 
remember him in prayer. If the bishops were 
kind and cordial to the first Methodists, they 
certainly took a singular way of dissembling 
their love. For instance, Bishop Lavington, 
of Exeter,' whose well-known two volumes on 
Methodism are really a curiosity of episcopal 
scurrility, was in a passion with everything that 
looked like Whitefieldism in his diocese. Mr. 
Thomson, the Vicar of St. Gennys, was a dissi- 
pated clergyman, a character of known immor- 
ality ; he was a rich man, and not dependent 
upon his vicarage. In the midst of his sinful 
life conscience was arrested ; he became con- 
verted ; he countenanced and threw open his 
pulpit to Mr. Whitefield; he became now as re- 
markable for his devout life and fervent gospel 
preaching as he had been before for his ungod- 
liness. What made it all the worse was, that 
he was a man of real genius. Now all his 
brethren in the ministry disowned him, and 
closed their pulpits against him; and presently 
Bishop Lavington summoned him to appear 

Cast out from the Church. 71 

before him to answer the charges made against 
him by his brethren for his Methodistical prac- 
tices. " Sir," said the Bishop, in the course of 
conversation, "if you pursue these practices, 
and countenance Whitefield, I will strip your 
gown from off you." Mr. Thomson had on his 
gown at the time — more frequently worn by 
ministers of the Church then than now. To 
the amazement of the Bishop, Mr. Thomson 
exclaimed, " I will save your lordship the 
^rouble !" He took off his gown, dropped it at 
the Bishop's feet, saying, "My lord, I can 
preach without a gown !" and before the Bishop 
could recover from his astonishment he was 
gone. This was an instance, however, in 
which the Bishop was so decidedly in the 
wrong that he sent for the vicar again, apolo- 
gised to him ; and the circumstance, indeed, 
led to the entertainment by the Bishop of 
views which were somewhat milder with refer- 
ence to Methodism than those which still give 
notoriety to his name. 

Southey, in his certainly not impartial vol- 
umes, admits that, for the most part, the con- 
dition of the clergy was dreadful; it is not won- 
derful that they closed their churches against 
the innovators. There was, for instance, the 
Vicar of Colne, the Rev. George White ; when 
the preachers came into his neighbourhood, it 

*Appendix E. 

72 The Great Revival. 

was his usual practice to call his parishioners 
together by the beat of a drum, to issue a 
proclamation at the market-cross, and enlist a 
mob for the defence of the Church against the 
Methodists. Here is a copy of the proclama- 
tion, a curiosity in its way : " Notice is hereby 
given that if any man be mindful to enlist in 
His Majesty's service, under the command of 
the Rev. Mr. George White, Commander-in- 
Chief, and John Bannister, Lieutenant-General 
of His Majesty's forces for the defence of the 
Church of England, and the support of the 
manufactory in and about Colne, both which 
are now in danger, let him repair to the drum- 
head at the Cross, where each man shall re- 
ceive a pint of ale in advance, and all other 
proper encouragements." Such are some of the 
instances, which might be multiplied to any 
extent, showing the reception given to the re- 
vivalists by the clergy of the time. But let no 
reader suppose that, in reciting these things, 
we are willingly dwelling upon facts not credit- 
able to the Church, or that we forget how 
many of her most admirable members have 
made an abundant ainende honorable by their 
eulogies since; nor are we forgetting that Non- 
conformist chapels, whose cold respectability 
of service and theology were sadly outraged by 
the new teachers, were not more readily 

Cast out from the Church. 73 

opened than the churches were to men with 
whom the Word of the Lord was as a fire, or 
as a hammer to break the rock in pieces.* 

Whitefield soon felt his power. Immediately 
after his ordination, he in some way became for 
a time an occasional supply at the chapel in the 
Tower; he found a straggling congregation of 
twenty or thirty hearers; after a service or two 
the place was overflowing, and remained so. 
During his short residence in that neighbour- 
hood the youth continued throughout the 
whole week preaching to the soldiers, preach- 
ing to prisoners, holding services on Sunday 
mornings for young men before the ordinary 
service. He was still ostensibly at Oxford; a 
profitable living was offered to him in London, 
and instantly declined. He went to Glouces- 
ter, to Bristol, to Kingswood. Of course it is 
impossible to follow Whitefield step by step 
through his career; we can only rapidly bring 
out a crayon sketch of the chief features of his 
work. He made voyages to Georgia; voyaging 
was no pastime in those days, and he spent a 
great amount of time in transit to and fro on 
the seas; our business with him is chiefly as 
the first field-preacher; and Kingswood, near 
Bristol, appears to have been the first place 
where this great work was to be tried. It was 
then, what it is still, a region of rough collieries, 

^Appendix F. 

74 The Great Revival. 

the Black Country of the West; the people 
themselves were of the roughest order. White- 
field spoke at Bristol, to some friends, of his 
probable speedy embarkation to preach the 


Gospel among the Indians of America; and 
they said to him, " What need of going abroad 
to do this? Have we not Indians enough at 
home ? If you have a mind to convert Indians, 

Cast out from the Church. 75 

there are colliers enough in Kingswood ! " A 
savage race ! As to taking to the fields in this 
instance, it was simply a necessity; there were 
no churches from whence the preacher could be 
ejected. Try to realize it: the heathen society, 
indoctrinated only in brutal sports; the rough, 
black labour only typical of the rough, black 
minds, the rough, black souls. Surely he must 
have been a very brave man; nor was he one 
at all of that order of apostles whose native 
roughness is well fitted, it seems, to challenge 
roughness to civility. 

Whitefield was a perfect gentleman, of man- 
ners most affectionate and amiable; altogether 
the most unlikely creature, it seems, to rise tri- 
umphant over the execrations of a mighty mob. 
The oratory of Whitefield seems to us almost 
the greatest mystery in the history of elo- 
quence: his voice must have been wonderful; 
its strength was overwhelming, but it was not 
a roar; its modulations and inflections were 
equal to its strength, so that it had the all- 
commanding tones of a bell in its clearness, and 
all the modulations of an organ in its variety 
and sweetness. Kingswood only stands as a 
representative of crowds of other such places, 
where savages fell before the enchantment of 
his sweet- music. Read any accounts of him, 
and it will be seen that we do not exaggerate 

?6 The Great Revival. 

in speaking of him as the very Orpheus of the 
pulpit. Assuredly, as it has been said Orpheus, 
by the power of his music, drew trees, stones, 
the frozen mountain-tops, and the floods to 
bow to his melody, so men, "stockish, hard, 
and full of rage," felt a change pass over their 
nature, as they came under the spell of White- 
field. Yet, perhaps, he would not have gone 
to Kingswood had he not been inhibited from 
preaching in the Bristol churches. He had 
preached in St. Mary Redcliff, and the follow- 
ing day had preached opening sermons in the 
parish church of SS. Philip and Jacob, and then 
he was called before the Chancellor of the dio- 
cese, who asked him for his licence by which he 
was permitted to preach in that diocese. White- 
field said he was an ordained minister of the 
Church of England, and as to the special licence, 
it was obsolete. " Why did you not ask," he said, 
"for the licence of the clergyman who preached 
for you last Thursday ? " The Chancellor re- 
plied, "That is no business of yours." White- 
field said, "There is a canon forbidding clergy- 
men to frequent taverns and play at cards, 
why is that not enforced?" The Chancellor 
evaded this, but charged Whitefield with 
preaching false doctrine; Whitefield replied that 
he preached what he knew to be the truth, and 
he would continue to preach. " Then," said the 

Cast out from the Church. 77 

Chancellor, " I will excommunicate you ! " The 
end of it was that all the city churches were 
shut against him. " But," he says, "if they 
were all open, they would not contain half 
the people who come to hear. So at three in 
the afternoon I went to Kingswood among the 
colliers." Whiteneld laid his case in a very re- 
spectful letter, before the Bishop, but on he 
went. As to Kingswood, tears poured down 
the black faces of the colliers; the great au- 
diences are described as being drenched in 
tears. Whiteneld himself was in a passion of 
tears. " How can I help weeping," he said to 
them," when you have not wept for yourselves ? " 
And they began to weep. Thus in 1739 began 
the mighty work at Kingswood, which has been 
a great Methodist colony from that day to this. 
That was a good morning's work for the cause 
of Christ when the Chancellor shut the doors 
of the churches of Bristol against the brave 
and beautiful preacher, and threatened to ex- 
communicate him. Was it not said of old, 
"Thou makest the wrath of man to praise 

Now, then, see him girt and road-ready ; we 
might be sure that the example of the Chan- 
cellor of Bristol would be pretty generally 
followed. The old ecclesiastical corporations 
set themselves in array against him ; but how 

?S The Great Revival. 

futile the endeavour ! Their canons and 
rubrics were like the building of hedges to 
confine an eagle, and they only left him with- 
out a choice — without any choice but to fulfil 
his instinct for souls, and to soar. Other " little 
brief authorities," mayors, aldermen, and such 
like, issued their fulminations. Coming to 
Basingstoke, the mayor, one John Abbott, 
inhibited him. John Abbott seems to have 
been a burly butcher. The intercourse and 
correspondence between the two is very 
humorously characteristic ; but, although it 
gives an insight as to the antagonism which 
frequently awaited Whitefield, it is too long to 
quote in this brief sketch. The butcher-mayor 
was coarse and insolent ; Whitefield never lost 
his sweet graciousness ; writing to abusive 
butchers or abusive bishops, as in his reply to 
Lavington, he never lost his temper, never 
indulged in satire, never exhibits any great 
marks of genius, writes straight to the point, 
simply vindicates himself and his course, never 
retracts, never apologises, goes straight on. 

There is no other instance of a preacher who 
was so equally at home and equally impressive 
and commanding in the most various and 
dissimilar circles and scenes ; it is significant of 
the notice he excited that his name occurs so 
frequently in the correspondence of that cold 

Cast out from the Church. 79 

and heartless man and flippant sneerer, Horace 
Walpole, whose allusions to him are usually 
disgraceful ; but so it was, he was equally com- 
manding in the polished and select circles of 
the drawing-room, surrounded by dukes and 
duchesses, great statesmen and philosophers, 
or in the large old tabernacle or parish church, 
surrounded by more orderly and saintly wor- 
shippers, or in nature's vast and grand cathe- 
drals, with twenty or thirty thousand people 
around him. 

From the day when he went to Kingswood, 
we may run a rapid eye along the perspective 
of his career — in fields, on heaths, and on com- 
mons, it was the same everywhere ; from his 
intense life we might find many scenes for 
description : take one or two. On the breast 
of the mountain, the trees and hedges full of 
people, hushed to profound silence, the open 
firmament above him, the prospect of adjacent 
fields — the sight of thousands on thousands of 
people ; some in coaches, some on horseback, 
and all affected, or drenched in tears. Some- 
times evening approaches, and then he says, 
" Beneath the twilight it was too much for me, 
and quite overcame me." There was one 
night never to be forgotten. While he was 
preaching it lightened exceedingly; his spirit 
rose on the tempest ; his voice tolled out the 

8o The Great Revival. 

doom and decay hanging" over all nature ; he 
preached the warnings and the consolations of 
the coming of the Son of man. The thunder 
broke over his head, the lightning shone along 
the preacher's path, it ran along the ground in 
wild glares from one part of heaven to the 
other ; the whole audience shook like the 
leaves of a forest in the wind, whilst high 
amidst the thunders and the lightnings, the 
preacher's voice rose, exclaiming, " Oh, my 
friends, the wrath of God ! the wrath of God !" 
Then his spirit seemed to pass serenely right 
through the tempest, and he talked of Christ, 
who swept the wrath away ; and then he told 
how he longed for the time when Christ should 
be revealed, amidst the flaming fire, consuming 
all natural things. " Oh," exclaimed he, " that 
my soul may be in a like flame when He shall 
come to call me !" Can we realize what his 
soul must have been who could burn with such 
seraphic ardours in the midst of such scenes ? 
So he opened the way everywhere, by his 
field-preaching, for John Wesley. Truly it has 
been said, " Whitefield, and not Wesley, is the 
prominent figure in the opening of the Method- 
ist movement ;" and the time we must assign 
to this first popular agitation is the winter of 
1738-39. The two men were immensely differ- 
ent. To Whitefield the preaching was no light 

Cast out from the Church. 8 1 

work ; it was not talking. After one of his 
sermons, drenched through, he would lie down, 
spent, sobbing, exhausted, death-like : John 
Wesley, after one of his most effective sermons, 


in which he also had shaken men's souls, would 
just quietly mount his little pony, and ride off 
to the next village or town, reading his book as 
he went, or stopping by the way to pluck 

82 The Great Revival. 

curious flowers or simples from the hedges ; 
the poise of their spirits was so different. All 
great movements need two men, Moses and 
Aaron ; the prophet Elijah must go before, "to 
restore all things." Whitefield lived in the 
immediate neighbourhood and breathed the air 
of essential truth ; Wesley looked at men, and 
saw how all remained undone until the work 
took coherency and shape. As he says, " I was 
convinced that preaching like an apostle, with- 
out joining together those that are awakened, 
and training them up in the ways of God, is 
only begetting children for the murderer." 
Whitefield preached like an apostle; the scenes 
we have described appear charming rural 
scenes, in which men's hearts were bowed and 
hushed before him ; but there were widely 
different scenes when he defied the devil, and 
sought to win his victims away, even in fairs 
and wakes — the most wild and dissolute periodi- 
cal pests and nuisances of the age. Rough 
human nature went down before him, as in the 
instance of the man who came with heavy . 
stones to pelt him, and suddenly found his 
hands as it were tied, and himself in tears, 
and, at the close, wen* up to the preacher, and 
said, " I came here only to break your head, 
and you have broken my heart !" 

But the roughs of London seem to have been 

Cast out from the Church. 83 

worse than the roughs of Kingswood ; and we 
cannot wonder that men like Walpole, and 
even polite and refined religious men, thought 
that a man who could go right into St. Bar- 
tholomew's Fair, in Moorfields, and Finsbury, 
take his station among drummers, trumpeters, 
merry-andrews, harlequins, and all kinds of 
wild beasts, must be "mad"; it must have 
seemed the height of fanaticism, like preaching 
to a real Gadarene swinery. All the historians 
of the movement — Sir James Stephen, Dr. 
Abel Stevens, Dr. Southey, Isaac Taylor, and 
others, recite with admiration the story of the 
way in which he wrestled successfully with the 
merry-andrews. He began to preach at six 
o'clock in the morning ; stones, dirt, rotten 
eggs were hurled at him. " My soul was 
among lions," he says ; but the marvellous 
voice overcame, and he went on speaking, and 
we know how tenderly he would » speak to 
them, of their own miseries, and the dangers of 
their own sins ; the great multitude — it was 
between twenty and thirty thousand — "be- 
came like lambs;" he finished, went away, and, 
in the wilder time — in the afternoon — he came 
again. In the meantime there had been organi- 
sations to put him down : here was a man with 
a long heavy whip to strike the preacher; 
there was a recruiting sergeant who had been 

84 The Great Revival. 

engaged with drum and fife to interrupt him. 
As he appeared on the outskirts of the crowd, 
Whitefield, who well knew how to catch the 
humour of the people too, exclaimed, "Make 
way for the king's officer !"and the mob divided, 
while, to his surprise, the recruiting officer, with 
his drum, found himself immediately beneath 
Whitefield ; it was easy to manage him now. 
The crowd around roared like wild beasts ; it 
must have been a tremendous scene. Will it 
be believed — it seems incredible — that he con- 
tinued there, preaching, praying, singing, until 
the night fell ? He won a decided victory, and 
the next day received no fewer than a thousand 
notes from persons, " brands plucked from the 
burning," who spoke of the convictions through 
which they had passed, and implored the 
preacher to remember them in his prayers. 

This was in Moorfields, in which neighbour- 
hood since, the followers both of Wesley and 
of Whitefield have found their tabernacles and 
most eminent fields of usefulness. Many have 
attempted fair-preaching since Whitefield's 
day, but not, we believe, with much success ; 
it needs a remarkable combination of powers to 
make such efforts successful. Whitefield was 
able to attempt to outbid the showmen, merry- 
andrews, and harlequins, and he succeeded. 
No wonder they called him a fanatic; he 

Cast out from the Church. 85 

might have said, " If we be beside ourselves, it 
is for God, that by all means we may save 
some !" 

But what we have been especially desirous 
that our readers should note is, that these more 
vehement manifestations of Methodism were 
not the result of any methodised plan, but were 
a simple yielding to, and taking possession of 
circumstances; it was as if " the Spirit of the 
Lord" came down upon the leaders, and " car- 
ried them whither they knew not." 

[For an account of Whitefield's labours in 
America, and the spread of the Great Revival 
there, the reader is referred to the supplement- 
al chapter at the end of this volume.] 

86 The Great Revival. 



LORD Macaulay's verdict upon John Wes- 
ley, that he possessed a " genius for govern- 
ment not inferior to that of Richelieu," re- 
ceived immediate demonstration when he came 
actively into the movement, and has been 
abundantly confirmed since his death, in the 
history of the society which he founded. It 
has been said that all institutions are the pro- 
longed shadow of one mind, and that by the 
inclusiveness, or power of perpetuity in the in- 
stitution, we may know the mind of the 
founder. Much of our last chapter was devoted 
to some attempt to realise the place and power 
of Whitefield ;* what he was in relation to the 
Revival may be denned by the remark, often 
made, and by capable critics, that while there 
have been multitudes of better sermon-makers, 
it is uncertain whether the Church ever had so 
great a pulpit orator. In Wesley's mind every- 
thing became structural and organic ; he was a 

*See Chapter XIV. for his place and power in America. 

The Revival Conservative. 87 

mighty master of administration ; but he also 
followed Whitefield's example, and took to the 
fields; and very great, indeed, amazing results, 
followed his ministry. 

Many of the incidents which are impressive 
and amusing show the difference between the 
men. Whitefield overwhelmed the people : 
Wesley met insolence and antagonism by some 
sharp, concise, and cuttingly appropriate re- 
tort, which was remarkable, considering his 
stature. But both his presence and his words 
must have been unusually commanding : " Be 
silent, or begone," he turned round sharply 
and said once to some violent disturbers, and 
they were obedient to the command. 

Wesley's rencontre with Beau Nash at Bath 
is a fair illustration of his quiet and almost ob- 
scurely sarcastic method of confounding a 
troublesome person. Preaching in the open air 
at Bath, the King of Bath, the Master of the 
Ceremonies, Nash, was so unwise as to attempt 
to put down the apostolic man. Nash's char- 
acter was bad; it was that of an idle, heartless, 
licentious dangler on the skirts of high society. 
He appeared in the crowd, and authoritatively 
asked Wesley by what right he dared to stand 
there. The congregation was not wholly of 
the poor; there were a number of fashionable 
and noble persons present, and among them 

88 The Great Revival. 

many with whom this attack had been pre- 
arranged, and who expected to see the discom- 
fiture of the Methodist by the courtly and 
fashionable old dandy. Wesley replied to the 
question simply and quietly that he stood there 
by the authority of Jesus Christ, conveyed to 
him " by the present Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, when he laid hands on me and said, 
' Take thou authority to preach the Gospel !' " 
Nash began to bustle and to be turbulent, and 
he exclaimed, " This is contrary to Act of Par- 
liament ; this is a conventicle." " Sir," said 
Wesley, " the Act you refer to applies to sedi- 
tious meetings : here is no sedition, no shadow 
of sedition; the meeting is not, therefore, con- 
trary to the Act." Nash stormed, " I say it is; 
besides, your preaching frightens people out of 
their wits." " Sir," said Wesley, " give me 
leave to ask, Did you ever hear me preach ?" 
" No !" " How, then, can you judge of what you 
have never heard ?" " Sir, by common report." 
" Common report is not enough," said Wesley; 
" again give me leave to ask is your name not 
Nash ?" " My name is Nash." And then the 
reader must imagine Wesley's thin, clear, 
piercing voice, cutting through the crowd : 
" Sir, I dare not judge of you by common re- 
port." There does not seem much in it, but 
the effect was overwhelming. Nash tried to 

The Revival Conservative. 89 

bully it out a little; but, to make his discomfi- 
ture complete, the people took up the case, and 
especially one old woman, whose daughter had 
come to grief through the fop, in her way so set 
forth his sins that he was glad to retreat in dis- 
may. On another occasion, when attempts 
were made to assault Wesley, there was some 
uncertainty about his person, and the assail- 
ants were saying, "Which is he ? which is 
he ?" he stood still as he was walking down 
the crowded street, turned upon them, and 
said, " I am he ;" and they instantly fell back, 
awed into involuntary silence and respect. 

It is characteristic that while Whitefield 
simply took to the work of field-preaching, and 
preaching in the open air, and troubled himself 
very little about finding or giving reasons for 
the irregularity of the proceeding, Wesley de- 
fended the practice with formidable arguments. 
It is remarkable that the practice should have 
been deemed so irregular, or should need vin- 
dication, considering that our Lord had given 
to it the sanction of His example, and that it 
had been adopted by the apostles and fathers, 
the greatest of the Catholic preachers, and the 
reformers of every age. A history of field and 
street-preaching would form a large and inter- 
esting chapter of Church history. Southey 
quotes a very happy series of arguments from 

go The Great Revival. 

one of Wesley's appeals : " What need is 
there," he says, speaking for his antagonists, 
"of this preaching in the fields and streets? 
Are there not churches enough to preach in ?" 
"No, my friend, there are not, not for us to 
preach in. You forget we are not suffered to 
preach there, else we should prefer them to any 
place whatever." " Well, there are ministers 
enough without you." " Ministers enough, and 
churches enough ! For what ? To reclaim all 
the sinners within the four seas ? and one plain 
reason why these sinners are never reclaimed 
is this : they never come into a church. Will 
you say, as some tender-hearted Christians I 
have heard, 'Then it is their own fault; let 
them die and be damned !' I grant it may be 
their own fault, but the Saviour of souls came 
after us, and so we ought to seek to save that 
which is lost." He went on to confess the 
irregularity, but he retorted that those persons 
who compelled him to be irregular had no right 
to censure -him for irregularity. "Will they 
throw a man into the dirt," said he, " and beat 
him because he is dirty ? Of all men living 
those clergymen ought not to complain who 
believe I preach the Gospel; if they will not ask 
me to preach in their churches, they are 
accountable for my preaching in the fields." 
This is a fair illustration of the neat shrewdness, 

The Revival Conservative. 91 

the compact, incisive common sense of Wes- 
ley's mind. Thus he argued himself inta that 
sphere of labour which justified him in after 
years in saying, without any extravagance, 
" The world is my parish." 

We have said the Revival became conserva- 
tive. It is true the Countess of Huntingdon 
did much to make it so; but it assumed a shape 
of vitality, and a force of coherent strength, 
chiefly from the touch of Wesley's administra- 
tive mind. The present City Road Chapel, 
which was opened in 1776, opposite Bunhill 
Fields Burial Ground, is probably the first 
illustration of this fact ; it stands where stood 
the Foundry — time-honoured spot in the history 
of Methodism. It stood in Moorfields ; the 
City Road was a mere lane then. The build- 
ing had been used by government for casting 
cannon; it was a rude ruin. Wesley purchased 
it and the site at the very commencement of 
his work, in 1739; he turned it into a temple. 
As the years passed on it became the cradle of 
London Methodism, accommodating fifteen 
hundred people. Until within twenty years of 
Wesley's purchase this had been a kind of 
Woolwich Arsenal to the government; it be- 
came a temple of peace, and here came " band- 
rooms," school-rooms, book-rooms — the first 
saplings of Methodist usefulness. 

9 2 

The Great Revival. 

It has been truly said by a writer in the Brit- 
ish Quarterly, that the most romantic lives of 
the saints of the Roman Catholic calendar do 


not present a more startling succession of 
incidents than those which meet us in the life 
and labours of Wesley. Romish stories claim 

The Revival Conservative. 93 

that Blessed Raymond, of Pegnafort, spread 
his cloak upon the sea to transport him across 
the water, sailing one hundred and sixty miles 
in six hours, and entering his convent through 
closed doors ! The devout and zealous Francis 
Xavier spent three whole days in two different 
places at the same time, preaching all the 
while ! Rome shines out in transactions like 
these : Wesley does not ; but he seems to 
have been almost ubiquitous, and he moves 
with a rapidity reminding us of that flying 
angel who had the everlasting Gospel to preach, 
and he shines alike in his conflicts with nature 
and the still wilder tempests caused by the 
passions of men. We read of his travelling, 
through the long wintry hours, two hundred 
and eighty miles on horseback, in six days; it 
was a wonderful feat in those times. When 
Wesley first began his itinerancy there were no 
turnpikes in the country ; but before he closed 
his career, he had probably paid more, says 
Dr. Sbuthey, for turnpikes, than any other man 
in England, for no other man in England 
travelled so much. His were no pleasant 
journeys, as of summer days ; he travelled 
through the fens of Lincolnshire when the 
waters were out ; and over the fells of North- 
umberland when they were covered with snow. 
Speaking of one tremendous journey, through 

94 The Great Revival. 

dreadful weather, he says, " Many a rough 
journey have I had before ; but one like this I 
never had, between wind and hail, and rain, 
and ice, and snow, and driving sleet, and 
piercing cold ; but it is past. Those days will 
return no more, and are therefore as though 
they had never been. 

" ' And pain, like pleasure, is a dream !' " 

How singular was his visit to Epworth, 
where he found the church of his childhood, his 
father's church, the church of his own first 
ministrations, closed against him ! The min- 
ister of the church was a drunkard ; he had 
been under great obligations, both to Wesley 
himself and to the Wesley family, but he 
assailed him with the most offensive brutality ; 
and when Wesley, denied the pulpit, signified 
his intention of simply partaking of the Lord's 
Supper with the parishioners on the following 
Sunday, the coarse man sent word, " Tell Mr. 
Wesley I shall not give him the Sacrament, for 
he is not fit" It seems to have cut Mr. Wes- 
ley very deeply. " It was fit," he says, " that 
he who repelled me from the table where I had 
myself so often distributed the bread of life, 
should be one who owed his all in this world to 
the tender love my father had shown to his, as 
well as personally to himself." He stayed 

The Revival Conservative. 95 

there, however, eight days, and preached every 
evening in the churchyard, standing on his 
father's tomb ; truly a singular sight, the living 
son, the prophet of his age, surely little short 


of inspired, preaching from his dead father's 
grave with such pathos and power as we may 
well conceive. " I am well assured," he says, 
" I did far more good to my old Lincolnshire 

g6 The Great Revival. 

parishioners by preaching" three days on my 
father's tomb than I did by preaching three 
years in his pulpit !" 

As he travelled to and fro, odd mistakes 
sometimes happened. Arrived at York, he 
went into the church in St. Saviour's Gate ; the 
rector, one Mr. Cordeau, had often warned his 
congregation against going to hear "that 
vagabond Wesley" preach. It was usual in that 
day for ministers of the Establishment to wear 
the cassock or gown, just as everywhere in 
France we see the French abbes. ■ Wesley 
had on his gown, like a university man in 
a university town. Mr. Cordeau, not knowing 
who he was, offered him his pulpit; Wes- 
ley was quite willing, and always ready. 
Sermons leaped impromptu from his lips, 
and this sermon was an impressive one; at 
its close the clerk asked the rector if he knew 
who the preacher was. " No." " Why, sir, it 
was that vagabond Wesley !" " Ah, indeed !" 
said the astonished clergyman; "well, never 
mind, we have had a good sermon." The 
anecdotes of the incidents which waited upon 
the preacher in his travels are of every order of 
humorous, affecting, and romantic interest; they 
are spread over a large variety of volumes, and 
even still need to be gathered, framed, and 
hung in the light of some effective chronicle. 

The Revival Conservative, 


The brilliant passage in which Lord Macau- 
lay portrays, as with the pencil of a Vandyke, 
the features of the great English Puritans, is 
worthy of attention. Perhaps, even had the 
great essayist attempted the task, he had 


scarcely the requisite sympathies to give an 
effective portrait or portraits of the early 
Methodists; indeed, their characters are differ- 
ent, as different as a portrait from the pencil of 
Denner to one from that of Vandyke, or of 
Velasquez; but as Denner is wonderful too, al- 
* See Appendix. 

98 The Great Revival. 

though so homely, so the Methodist is a study. 
The early Methodist was, perhaps, usually a 
very simple, what we should call an ignorant, 
man, but he had "the true Light which lighteth 
every man that cometh into the world." He 
was not such an one as the early Puritan or the 
ancient Huguenot, those children of the camp 
and of the sword, Nonconformist Templars and 
Crusaders, whose theology had trained them 
for the battle-field, teaching them to frown de- 
fiance on kings, and to treat with contempt the 
proudest nobles, if they were merely unsancti- 
fied men. The Methodist was not such an one 
as the stern Ironside of Cromwell ; as he lived 
in a more cheerful age, so he was the subject of 
a more cheerful piety; he was as loyal as he was 
lowly. He had been forgotten or neglected by 
all the priests and Levites of the land; but a 
voice had reached him, and raised him to the 
rank of a living, conscious, immortal soul. He 
also was one for whom Christ died. A new life 
had created new interests in him ; and Christi- 
anity, really believed, does ennoble a man — 
how can it do otherwise ? It gives self-respect 
to a man, it shows to him a new purpose and 
business in life; moreover, it creates a spirit of 
holy cheerfulness and joy; and thus came about 
that state of mind which Wesley made subser- 
vient to organisation — the necessity for meet- 

* See Appendix. 

The Revival Conservative. 99 

ings and reciprocations. It has been said that 
every church must have some sign or counter- 
sign, some symbol to make it popularly success- 
ful. St. Dominic gave to his order the Rosary; 
John Wesley gave to his Society the Ticket. 
There were no chapels, or but Tew, and none to 
open their doors to these strange new pilgrims 
to the celestial city. We have seen that the 
churches were closed against them. Lord 
Macaulay says, had John Wesley risen in the 
Church of Rome, she would have thrown her 
arms round him, only regarding him as the 
founder of a new order, with certain peculiar- 
ities calculated to increase and to extend her 
empire, and in due time have given to him the 
honours of canonisation. 

The English clergy as a body gathered up 
their garments and shrunk from all contact 
with the Methodists as from a pestilence. What 
could be done ? Something must be done to 
prevent them from falling back into the world. 
Piety needs habit, and must become habitual to 
be safe, even as the fine-twined linen of the 
veil, and the ark of the covenant, and the 
cherubim shadowing the mercy-seat, were shut 
in and all their glory defended by the rude cov- 
erings of badger-skins. John Wesley knew that 
the safety of the converted would be in fre- 
quent meetings for singing and prayer and con- 

ioo The Great Revival. 

versation. Reciprocation is the soul of Meth- 
odism; so they assembled in each others' 
houses, in rude and lonely but convenient 
rooms, by farm-house ingles, in lone hamlets. 
Thus was created a homely piety, often rugged 
enough, no doubt, but full of beautiful and 
pathetic instincts. So grew what came to be 
called band-meetings, class-meetings, love- 
feasts, and all the innumerable means by which 
the Methodist Society worked, until it became 
like a wheel within a wheel ; simple enough, 
however, in the days to which we are referring. 
"Look to the Lord, and faithfully attend all 
the means of grace appointed in the Society." 
Such was, practically, the whole of Methodism. 
So that famous old lady, whose bright example 
has so often been held up on Methodist plat- 
forms, when called upon to state the items of 
her creed, did so very sufficiently when she 
summed it up in the four particulars of " repent- 
ance towards God; faith in the Lord Jesus 
Christ ; a penny a week ; and a shilling a 
quarter." Wesley seems to have summed the 
Methodist creed more simply still : " Belief in 
the Lord Jesus Christ, and an earnest desire to 
flee from the wrath to come." This was his 
condition of Church fellowship. When the 
faith became more consciously objective, it too 
was seized by the passionate instinct, the de- 

The Revival Conservative. ioi 

sire to save souls. This drove the early Meth- 
odists out on great occasions to call vast mul- 
titudes together on heaths, on moors. Perhaps 
— but this was at a later time — some country- 
gentleman threw open his old hall to the 
preachers; though the more aristocratic phase 
of the Methodist movement fell into the Cal- 
vinistic rather than into the Wesleyan ranks, 
and subsided into the organisation of the 
Countess of Huntingdon, which was, in fact, a 
kind of Free Church of England. The follow- 
ers of Wesley sought the sequestration of 
nature, or in cities and towns they took to the 
streets or the broad ways and outlying fields. 
In some neighbourhoods a little room was built, 
containing the germ of what in a few years be- 
came a large Wesleyan Society. The burden 
of all these meetings, and all their intercourse, 
whether in speech or song, was the sweetness 
and fulness of Jesus. They had intense faith in 
the love of God shed abroad in the heart ; and 
their great interest was in souls on the brink of 
perdition. They knew little of spiritual diffi- 
culties or speculative despair; their conflict was 
with the world, the flesh, and the devil; and in 
this person, whose features have lately become 
somewhat dim, and who has wrapped himself 
in a new cloak of darkness, they did really be- 
lieve. Wesley dealt with sin as sin, and with 

102 The Great Revival. 

souls as souls; he and his band of preachers had 
little regard to proprieties, and it was not a 
polished time; so, ungraceful and undignified, 
the face weary, and the hand heavy with toil, 
they seemed out of breath pursuing souls. The 
strength of all these men was that they had a 
definite creed, and they sought to guard it by a 
definite Church life. The early Methodist had 
also cultivated the mighty instinct of prayer, 
about which he had no philosophy, but believ- 
ing that God heard him, he quite simply in- 
dulged in it as a passion, and in this to him 
there was at once a meaning and a joy. We 
are not under the necessity of vindicating 
every phase of the great movement, we are 
simply writing down some particulars of its 
history, and how it was that it grew and pre- 
vailed. God's ministry goes on by various 
means, ordinary and extraordinary; that is the 
difference between rivers and rains, between 
dews and lightnings. 

A very interesting chapter, perhaps a volume, 
might be compiled from the old records of the 
mere anecdotes — the very humours — of the per- 
secution attending on the Revival. Thus, in 
Cornwall, Edward Greenfield, a tanner, with a 
wife and seven children, was arrested under a 
warrant granted by Dr. Borlase, the eminent 
antiquary, who "was, however, a bitter foe to 

The Revival Conservative. 103 

Methodism. It was inquired what was the 
objection to Greenfield, a peaceable, inoffensive 
man ; and the answer was, " The man is well 
enough, but the gentlemen round about can't 
bear his impudence; why, he says he knows 
his sins are forgiven !" The story, is well 
known how, in one place, a whole waggon-load 
of Methodists were taken before the magis- 
trates; but when the question was asked in 
court what they had done, a profound silence 
fell over the assembly, for no one was prepared 
with a charge against them, till some- 
body exclaimed, " They pretended to be 
better than other people, and prayed from 
morning till night !" And another voice 
shouted out, ''And they've convarted my wife ; 
till she went among they, she had a tongue of 
her own, and now she's as quiet as a lamb !" 
"Take them all back, take them all back," said 
the sensible magistrate, " and let them convert 
all the scolds in the town !" 

There is a spot in Cornwall which may be 
said to be consecrated and set apart to the 
memory of Wesley ; it is in the immediate 
neighbourhood of Redruth, a wild, bare, rugged- 
looking region now, very suggestive of its 
savage aspect upwards of a hundred years 
since. The spot to which we refer is the 
Gwennap Pit; it is a wild amphitheatre, cut out 

104 The Great Revival. 

among the hills, capable of holding about thirty 
thousand persons. Its natural walls slant up- 
wards, and the place has altogether wonderful 
properties for the carrying the human voice. 
Wesley began to preach in this spot in 1762. 
When he first visited Cornwall, the savage 
mobs of what used to be called "West Barb- 
ary," howled and roared upon him like lions or 
wild beasts ; in his later years of visitation, no 
emperor or sovereign prince could have been 
received with more reverence and affection. The 
streets were lined and the windows of the 
houses thronged with gazing crowds, to see 
him as he walked along; and no wonder, for 
Cornwall was one of the chief territories of that 
singular ecclesiastical kingdom of which he 
was the founder. When he first went into 
Cornwall, it was really a region of savage 
irreligion and heathenism. The reader of his 
life often finds, usually about once a year, the 
visit to Gwennap Pit recorded : he preached his 
first sermon there, as we have said, in 1762; at 
the age of eighty-six he preached his last in 
1789. There, from time to time, they poured 
in from all the country round to see and to 
listen to the words of this truly reverend 

The traditions of Methodism have few more 
imposing scenes. Gwennap Pit was, perhaps, 


The Revival Conservative. 107 

Wesley's most famous cathedral ; a magnificent 
church, if we may apply that term to a build- 
ing- of nature, among the wild moors; it was 
thronged by hushed and devout worshippers. 
Until Wesley went among these people, the 
whole immense population might have said, "No 
man cared for our souls;" now they poured in to 
see him there: wild miners from the immediate 
neighbourhood, fishermen from the coast, men 
who until their conversion had pursued the 
wrecker's remorseless and criminal career, 
smugglers, more quiet men and their families 
less savage, but not less ignorant, from their 
shieling, or lowly farmstead on the distant 
heath. A strange throng, if we think of it, 
men who had never used God's name except in 
an oath, and who had never breathed a prayer 
except for the special providence of a shipwreck, 
and who with wicked barbarity had kindled 
their delusive lights along the coasts, to fasci- 
nate unfortunate ships to the cruel cliffs ! But 
a Divine power had passed over them, and they 
were changed, with their families; and hither 
they came to gladden the heart of the old 
patriarch in the wild glen — a strange spot, and 
not unbeautiful, roofed over by the blue heav- 
ens. Amidst the broom, the twittering birds, 
the heath flower, and the scantling of trees, 
amidst the venerable rocks, it must have been 

108 The Great Revival. 

wonderful to hear the thirty thousand voices 
welling up, and singing Wesley's words : 

" Suffice that for the season past, 
Hell's horrid language filled our tongues ; 
We all Thy words behind us cast, 
And loudly sang the drunkard's songs. 
But, oh, the power of grace Divine ! 
In hymns we now our voices raise, 
Loudly in strange hosannahs join, 
While blasphemies are turned to praise !" 

Such was one of the triumphs of the Great 

The Singers of the Revival. 109 



CHIEF of all the auxiliary circumstances 
which aided the Great Revival, beyond a ques- 
tion, was this: that it taught the people of 
England, for the first time, the real power of 
sacred song. That man in the north of Eng- 
land who, when taken, by a companion who 
had been converted, to a great Methodist 
preaching, and being asked at the close of the 
service how he had enjoyed it, replied, " Weel, 
I didna care sae mich aboot the preaching, but, 
eh, man ! yon ballants were grand," was no 
doubt a representative character. And the 
great and subduing power of large bodies of 
people, moved as with one heart and one voice, 
must have greatly aided to produce those 
effects which we are attempting to realise. 
All great national movements have acknowl- 
edged and used the power of song. For man 
is a born singer, and if he cannot sing himself 
he likes to feel the power of those who can. It 
has been so in political movements: there were 
the songs of the Roundheads and the Cavaliers. 

no The Great Revival. 

And the greatest religious movements through 
all the Christian ages have acknowledged the 
power of sacred song, even from the days of 
the apostles, and from the time of St. Aiffbrose 
in Milan. Luther soon found that he must 
teach the people to sing. That is a pleasant 
little story, how once, as he was sitting at his 
window, he heard a blind beggar sing. It was 
something about the grace of God, and Luther 
says the strain brought tears into his eyes. 
Then, he says, the thought suddenly flashed 
into his mind, " If I could only make gospel 
songs which people could sing, and which 
would spread themselves up and down the 
cities !" He directly set to work upon this 
inspiration, and let fly song after song, each 
like a lark mounting towards heaven's gate, full 
of New Testament music. " He took care," 
says one writer, in mentioning the incident, 
" that each song should have some remember- 
able word or refrain ; such as ' Jesus,' ' Believe 
and be saved,' i Come unto Me,' ' Gospel/ 
' Grace,' ' Worthy is the Lamb,' and so on." 

Until Watts and Doddridge appeared, Eng- 
land had no popular sacred melodies. Amongst 
the works of the poets, such as Sir Philip Sid- 
ney, Milton, Sandys, George Herbert, and 
others, a few were scattered up and down; but 
they mostly lacked the subtle element which 

The Singers of the Revival. in 

constitutes a hymn. For, just as a man may be 
a great poet, and utterly fail in the power 
to write a good song, so a man may be a 
great sacred poet, and yet miss the faculty 
which makes the hymn-writer. It is singu- 
lar, it is almost indefinable. The subtle 
something which catches the essential elements 
of a great human experience, and gives it 
lyrical expression, takes that which other men 
put into creeds, sermons, theological essays, 
and sets it flying, as we just now said, like 
" the lark to heaven's gate." It ought never to 
be forgotten that Watts was, in fact, the 
creator of the English hymn. He wrote many 
lines which good taste can in no case approve; 
but here again the old proverb holds true, 
" The house that is building does not look like 
the house that is built." And the great num- 
ber of following writers, while they have felt 
the inspiration he gave to the Church, have 
moulded their lines by a more fastidious taste, 
which, if it has sometimes improved the metre 
or the sentiment, has possibly diminished in 
the strength. We will venture to say that even 
now there is a greater average of majesty of 
thought and expression in Watts's hymns than 
in any other of our great hymn-writers ; 
although, in some cases, we find here and there 
a piece which may equal, and some one or two 

112 The Great Revival. 

which are said to surpass, the flights of the 
sweet singer of Stoke Newington. But the 
hymns of Watts, as a whole, were not so well 
fitted to a great and popular revival, to the 
expression of a tumultuous and passionate ex- 
perience, as some we shall notice. They were, 
as a whole, especially wanting in the social 
element, and the finest of them sound like 
notes from the harp of some solitary angel. 
One cannot give to them the designation which 
the Wesleys gave to large sections of their 
hymns, "suitable for experience meetings." 
Praise rather than experience is the character- 
istic of Watts, although there are noble 
exceptions. Our readers will perhaps remem- 
ber a well-known and pleasing instance in a 
letter from Doddridge to his aged friend. 
Doddridge had been preaching on a summer 
evening in some plain old village chapel in 
Northamptonshire, when at the close of the 
service was "given out," as we say, that hymn 

" Give me the wings of faith to rise." 

We can suppose the melody to which it was 
sung to have been very rude; but it was, per- 
haps, new to the people, and the preacher was 
affected as he saw how, over the congregation, 
the people were singing earnestly, and melted 

The Singers of the Revival. 113 

to tears while they sang ; and at the close of 
the service many old people gathered round 
Doddridge, their hearts all alive with the hymn, 
and they wished it were possible, only for once, 
to look upon the face of the dear old Dr. Watts. 
Doddridge was so pleased that he thought his 
old friend would be pleased also, and so he 
wrote the account of the little incident in a 
letter to him. In many other parts of the 
country, no doubt, the people were waiting and 
wishful for popular sacred harmonies. And 
when the Great Revival came, and congrega- 
tions met by thousands, and multitudes who 
had been accustomed to song, thoughtless, 
foolish, very often sinful and licentious, still 
needed to sing (for song and human nature are 
inseparable, apparently, so far as we know any- 
thing about it, in the next world as well as in 
this), it was necessary that, as they had been 
"brought up out of the horrible pit and miry 
clay," " a new song of praise" should be put in 
the mouth. John Wesley had heard much of 
Moravian singing. He took Count Zinzendorfs 
hymns, translated them, and immensely im- 
proved them; he was the first who introduced 
into our psalmody the noble words of Paul 
Gerhardt. Some of the finest of all the hymns 
in the Wesleyan collection are these transla- 
tions. Watts was unsparingly used. Wesley's 


114 Tke Great Revival. 

first effort to meet this necessity of the Revival 
was the publication of his collection in 1739.* 
And thus, most likely without knowing the 
anecdote of Luther we have quoted above, 
.Wesley and his coadjutors did exactly what 
the Reformer had done. They gave effect to the 
Revival by the ordinance of song, and preached 
the Gospel in sweet words, and often recurring 
Gospel refrains. 

The remark is true that there was no art, no 
splendid form of worship or ritual; early Meth- 
odism and the entire evangelic movement were 
as free from all this as Clairvaux in the Valley of 
Wormwood, when Bernard ministered there 
with all his monks around him, or as Cluny 
when Bernard de Morlaix chanted his " Jeru- 
salem the Golden." Like all great religious 
movements which have shaken men's souls, this 
was purely spiritual, or if it had a secular ex- 
pression it was not artificial. Loud amens re- 
sounded as the preacher spoke or prayed, and 
then the hearty gushes of, perhaps,- not melo- 
dious song united all hearts in some litany or 
Te Deum in new-born verse from some of the 
singers of the last revival. Amongst infuriated 
mobs, we read how Wesley found a retreat in 
song, and overpowered the multitude with what 
we, perhaps, should not regard melody. Thus, 
when at Benge worth in 1740, where Wesley 

* See Appendix. 

The Singers of the Revival. 115 

was set upon by a crowd, and it was proposed 
by one that they should take him away and 
duck him, he broke out into singing with his 
redoubted friend, Thomas Maxfield. He al- 
lowed them to carry him whither they would ; 
at the bridge end of the street the mob retreat- 
ed and left him ; but he took his stand on the 
bridge, and striking up — 

"Angel of God, whate'er betide, 
Thy summons I obey," * 

preached a useful and effective sermon to hun- 
dreds who remained to listen, from the text, 
" If God be for us, who can be against us ?" 

But the contributions of Watts and Wesley 
are so well known that it is more important to 
notice here that as the Revival moved on, very 
soon other remarkable lyrists appeared to con- 
tribute, if few, yet really effective words. Of 
these none is more remarkable than the mighty 
cobbler, Thomas Olivers, a " sturdy Welsh- 
man," as Southey calls him. He is not to be 
confounded with John Oliver, also one of the 
notabilities of the Revival. Thomas was really 
an astonishing trophy of the movement ; before 
his conversion he was a thoroughly bad fellow, 
a kind of wandering reprobate, an idle, dissi- 
pated man. He fell beneath the power of 
Whitefield, whom he heard preach from the 

n6 The Great Revival. 

text, " Is not this a brand plucked out of the 
fire ?" He had made comic songs about White- 
field, and sung them with applause in tap- 
rooms. As Whitefield came in his way, he went 
with the purpose of obtaining fresh fuel for his 
ridicule. The heart of the man was completely 
broken, and he felt so much compunction for 
what he had done against the man for whom 
he now felt so deep a reverence and awe, that 
he used to follow him in the streets, and though 
he did not speak to him, he says he could 
scarcely refrain from kissing the prints of his 
footsteps. And now, he says, at the begin- 
ning of his new life, what we can well believe 
of an imagination so intense and strong, "I saw 
God in everything : the heavens, the earth and 
all therein showed me something of Him ; yea, 
even from a drop of water, a blade of grass, or 
a grain of sand, I received instruction." He was 
about seriously to enter into a settled and re- 
spectable way of business when John Wesley 
heard of him ; and although he was converted 
under Whitefield, Wesley persuaded him to 
yield himself to his direction for the work of 
preaching as one of his itinerant band, and sent 
him into Cornwall — just the man we should 
think for Cornwall, fiery and imaginative : off 
he went, in 1753. He was born in 1725. He 
testifies that he was " unable to buy a horse, 

The Singers of the Revival. i \y 

so, with my boots on my legs, my great-coat 
on my back, and my bag with my books and 
linen across my shoulders, I set out for Corn- 
wall on foot." Henceforth there were forty-six 
years on earth before him, during which he wit- 
nessed a magnificent confession before many 
witnesses. He became one of the foremost 
controversialists when dissensions arose among 
the men of the Revival. He acquired a knowl- 
edge of the languages, especially of Hebrew, 
and was a great reader. Wesley appointed 
him as his editor and general proofreader; but 
he could never be taught to punctuate prop- 
erly, and the punctilious Wesley could not tol- 
erate his inaccuracies as they slipped through the 
proof, so he did not retain this post long. But 
Wesley loved him, and in 1799 he descended 
into Wesley's own tomb, and his remains lie 
there, in the cemetery of the City Road Chapel. 
He wrote more prose than poetry ; but, like * 
St. Ambrose, he is made immortal by a single 
hymn. He is the author of one of the most 
majestic hymns in all hymnology. Byron and 
Scott wrote Hebrew melodies, but they will ; * 
not bear comparison with this one. While in 
London upon one occasion, he went into the 
Jewish synagogue, and he heard sung there by 
a rabbi, Dr. Leoni, an old air, a melody which 
so enchanted him and fixed itself in his memo- 

n8 The Great Revival. 

ry, that he went home, and instantly produced 
what he called "a hymn to the God of Abra- 
ham," arranged to the air he had heard. And 
thus we possess that which we so frequently 
} sing, 

" The God of Abraham praise !" * 

It is principally known by its first four verses ; 
there are twelve. " There is not," says James 
Montgomery, " in our language a lyric of more 
majestic style, more elevated thought, or more 
glorious imagery ; * * like a stately pile of 
architecture, severe and simple in design ; it 
strikes less on the first view than after deliber- 
ate examination, * * the mind itself grows 
greater in contemplating it ;" and he continues, 
" On account of the peculiarity of the measure, 
none but a person of equal musical and poetical 
taste could have produced the harmony per- 
ceptible in the verse." There will, perhaps, 
always be a doubt whether Olivers was the 
author of the hymn, 

"Lo ! He comes with clouds descending." 

If Charles Wesley were the author, he undoubt- 
edly derived the inspiration of the piece from 
Olivers' hymn," The Last Judgment :" t it is in 
the same metre, and probably Wesley took the 
thought and the metre, and adapted it to popu- 
lar service. What is undoubted is that Olivers, 

* See Appendix. f See Appendix. 

The Si?ige?'s of the Revival. 119 

who is the author of the metre, is also the author 
of the fine old tune " Helmsley," to which 
the hymn was usually sung until quite recent 
times; the tune was originally called " Olivers." 
It is but a natural step from Thomas Olivers 
-to his great antagonist, Augustus Toplady ; he 
also is made immortal by a hymn. He wrote 
many fine ones, full of melody, pathos, and 
affecting imagery. Toplady, as all our readers 
know, was a clergyman, the Vicar of Broad 
Hembury, in Devonshire. He took the strong 
Calvinistic side in the controversies which 
arose in the course of the Great Revival; 
Olivers took the strong Arminian side. They 
were not very civil to each other; and the 
scholarly clergyman no doubt felt his dignity 
somewhat hurt by the rugged contact with the 
cobbler; but the quarrels are forgotten now, 
and there is scarcely a hymn-book in which the 
hymn of Olivers is not found within a few pages 

" Rock of Ages, cleft for me !" 

To this hymn has been given almost univer- 
sally the palm as the finest hymn in our 
language. Where there are so many, at once 
deeply expressive in experience, and subdued 
and elevated in feeling, we perhaps may be for- 
given if we hesitate before praise so eminently 
high. Mr. Gladstone's translation into the 

120 The Great Revival. 

Latin, in the estimation of eminent scholars, 
even carries a more thrilling and penetrative 
awe.* But Toplady wrote many other hymns 
quite equal in pathos and poetic merit. The 
characteristic of " Rock of Ages" is its depth of 
penitential devotion. A volume might be writ- 
ten on the history of this expressive hymn. In- 
numerable are the multitudes whom these words 
have sustained when dying; they were among 
the last which lingered on the lips of Prince 
Albert as he was passing away; and to how 
many, through every variety of social distinc- 
tion, have they been at once the creed and con- 
solation! It is by his hymns that Toplady will 
be chiefly remembered. For years he was hov- 
ering along on the borders of the grave, slowly 
dying of consumption ; and he died in 1778, in 
the thirty-eighth year of his age. It was his 
especial wish that he should be buried with 
more than quiet, that no announcement should 
be made of the funeral, and that there should 
be no especial service at his grave : it testifies, 
however, to the high regard in which he was ! 
held that thousands followed him to his burial 
in Tottenham Court Road Chapel ; and when 
we know that his dear friend Rowland Hill 
conducted the service, we can scarcely be sur- 
prised, or offended, that he broke through the 
injunctions of his friend, and addressed the mul- 

* See Appendix. 

The Singers of the Revival. 12 1 

titude in affectionate commemoration of the 
sweet singer. 

Toplady we should regard as the chief singer 


of the Revival, after Charles Wesley, although 
entirely of another order; not so social as medi- 
tative, and reminding us, in many of his pieces, 

122 The Great Revival. 

of the characteristics we have attributed to 
Watts. His midnight hymn is a piece of un- 
common sublimity ; portions of it seem almost 
unfit for congregational singing; but for inward 
plaintive meditation, for reading in the evening 
family prayer, when the hushed stillness of night 
is over the household, and the pilgrim of life 
is about to commit himself to the unconscious- 
ness of sleep, the verses seem tenderly sug- 
gestive : 

"Thy ministering spirits descend, 

And watch while Thy saints are asleep; 
By day and by night they attend, 

The heirs of salvation to keep. 
Bright seraphs despatched from the throne, 

Fly swift to their stations assigned ; 
And angels elect are sent down 

To guard the elect of mankind. 

" Their worship no interval knows; 

Their fervour is still on the wing; 
And, while they protect my repose, 

They chant to the praise of my King. 
I, too, at the season ordained, 

Their chorus forever shall join, 
And love and adore without end, 

Their gracious Creator and mine." 

We have noticed in a previous chapter that 
when Whitefield separated himself from Wes- 
ley, the Revival took two distinctly different 
routes. We only refer to this again for the 
purpose of remarking that as Toplady was in- 

The Singers of the Revival. 123 

tensely Calvinistic in his method of Divine 
grace, so his hymns, also, reflect in all its ful- 
ness that creed; yet they are full of tenderness, 
and well calculated frequently to arouse dor- 
mant devotion. " Your harps, ye trembling 
saints;" " Emptied of earth I fain would be;'^ 
"When languor and disease invade;" " Jesus, ' 
immutably the same;" "A debtor to mercy 
alone," and many another, leave nothing to be 
desired either on the score of devotion, poetry, 
or melody. 

In a far humbler sphere, but representing the 
same faith and fervour as Toplady, and also 
carried away young, was Cennick. In an article 
in the Christian Remembrancer, on English 
hymnology, written very much for the purpose 
of throwing contempt on all the hymn-writers 
of the Revival, Cennick is spoken of as "a low 
and violent person; his hymns peculiarly offens- 
ive, both as to matter and manner." Some ex- 
ceptions are made by the reviewer for " Chil- 
dren of the Heavenly King." We may presume, 
therefore, that to this writer, "Thou dear Re- 
deemer, dying Lamb," is one of the "peculiarly 
offensive." This is not wonderful, when in the 
next page we read that " the hymns of Newton 
are the very essence of doggerel." This sounds 
rather strange, as a verdict, to those who have 
felt the particular charm of that much-loved 

124 The Great Revival. 

hymn, " How sweet the name of Jesus sounds!" 
It is not without a purpose that we refer to 
this paper in the Christian Remembrancer — 
evidently by a very scholarly hand — because its 
whole tone shows how the sacred song of the 
Revival would be likely to be regarded by 
those who had no sympathy with its evangeli- 
cal teaching. The writer, for instance, speak- 
ing of Wesley's hymns, doubts whether any of 
them could possibly be included by any chance 
in English hymnology ! " Jesus, lover of my 
soul," is said, " in some small degree to ap- 
proximate to the model of a Church hymn !" 
Of the Countess of Huntingdon's hymn-book, 
the writer says, " We shall certainly not notice 
the raving profanity !" It is not necessary fur- 
ther either to sadden or to irritate the reader 
by similar expressions; but the entire paper, 
and the criticisms we have cited, will show 
what was likely to be the effect of the hymns 
of the Revival on many similar minds of that 
time. In fact, the joy of the Revival work 
arose from this, that no person, no priest, nor 
Church usage, was needed to interpose be- 
tween the soul and the Saviour. Faith in 
Christ, and His immediate, personal presence 
with the soul seeking Him by faith, as it was 
the burden of the best of the sermons, so it 
was, also, of all the great hymns. 

The Singers of the Revival. 125 

The origin and the authors of several emi- 
nent hymns are certainly obscure. To Edward 
Perronet must be assigned the authorship of 
the fine coronation anthem of the Lamb that 
was slain : "All hail the power of Jesus' name!" 

Another, which has become a universal fav- 
ourite, is "Beyond the glittering starry globe." 
This is a noble and inspiring hymn; only a few 
verses are usually quoted in our hymn-books. 
Lord Selborne divides its authorship between 
Fanch and Turner. We have seen it attributed 
to Olivers ; this is certainly a mistake. The 
Quarterly Review, in a very able paper on 
hymnology, reproducing an old legend con- 
cerning it, traces it to two brothers in a 
humble situation in life, one an itinerant 
preacher, the other a porter. The preacher de- 
sired the porter to carry a letter for him. " I 
can't go," said the porter, " I am writing a 
hymn." " You write a hymn, indeed ! Non- 
sense ! you go with the letter, and I will finish 
the hymn." He went, and returned, but the 
hymn was unfinished. The preacher had taken 
it up at the third verse, and his muse had for- 
saken him at the eighth. " Give me the pen," 
said the porter, and he wrote off, 

" They brought His chariot from above, 
To bear Him to His throne ; 
Clapped their triumphant wings, and cried, 
* The glorious work is done ! ' " 

126 The Great Revival. 

Unfortunately the author of the paper in the 
Quarterly Review appears never to have seen 
the hymn in its entirety. The verse he cites is 
not the eighth, but the twenty-second, and it 
has been mutilated almost wherever quoted ; 
the verse itself is part of an apostrophe to the 
angels, recalling their ministrations round our 
Lord : 

" Tended His chariot up the sky, 
And bore Him to His throne ; 
Then swept your golden harps and cried, 
' The glorious work is done ! ' " 

Whoever wrote the hymn had the imagina- 
tion of a poet, the fine pathos of a believer, and 
a strong lyrical power of expression. 

Anecdotes of the origin of many of our great 
hymns of this period are as interesting as they 
are almost innumerable; those of which we are 
speaking are hymns of the Revival — to speak 
concisely — perhaps commenced with the Wes- 
leys, and closed with Cowper and Newton. It 
must not be supposed that there were no 
singers save those whose verses found their 
way into the Wesleyan or other great collec- 
tions of hymns ; there were James Grant, 
Joseph Griggs, especially notable, Miss Steele, 
the author of a great number of hymns of 
universal acceptance in all our churches, and 
which are more like those of Doddridge than 

The Singers of the Revival. 127 

any other since his day. Then there was John 
Stocker, — but we would particularly notice Job 
Hupton, the author of a hymn which has never 
been included in any hymn-book except Our 
Hymn Book, edited by the author of this volume, 
but which is scarcely inferior to " Beyond the 
glittering starry sky." 

"Come, ye saints, and raise an anthem, 

Cleave the skies with shouts of praise, 
Sing to Him who found a ransom , 

Ancient of eternal days. 
Bring your harps, and bring your odours, 

Sweep the string and pour the lay ; 
View His works ! behold His wonders ! 

!Let hosannas crown the day !" 

The hymn is far too long for quotation. Job 
Hupton was a Baptist minister in the neigh- 
bourhood of Beccles, where he died in 1849, i n 
the eighty-eighth year of his age, and the 
sixty-fifth of his ministry. 

Thus there was set free throughout the coun- 
try a spirit of sacred song which was new to 
the experience of the nation: it was boldly 
evangelical; it was devoted, not to the eulogy 
of Church forms and days; there was not a 
syllable of Mariolatry ; but praise to Christ, 
earnest meditation upon the state of man 
without His work, and the blessedness of the 
soul which had risen to the saving apprehen- 
sion of it. This forms the whole substance of 

128 The Great Revival. 

the Divine melody. It has seemed to some that 
the most perfect hymn in the English language 
is, "Jesus ! lover of my soul." Sentiments 
may differ, arising from modifications of ex- 
perience, but that hymn undoubtedly is the very 
essence of all the hymns which were sung in 
the days of the Great Revival. For the first 
time there was given to Christian experience that 
which met it at every turn. Watts found such 
a choir, and such an audience for his devotions, 
as he had never known in his life; and "Charles 
Wesley," says Isaac Taylor, " has been drawing 
thousands in his wake and onward, from earth 
to heaven." The hymns met and united all 
companies and all societies. The bridal party 
returned from church, singing, 

" We kindly help each other, 
Till all shall wear the starry crown." 

If they gathered round the grave, they sang; — 
and what a variety of glorious funereal hymns 
they had ! But that was a great favourite: 

" There all the ship's company meet, 
Who sailed with their Saviour beneath ; 
With shoutings each other they greet, 
And triumph o'er sorrow and death." 

Few separations took place without that song, 

" Blest be the dear uniting love, 
That will not let us part." 

The Singers of the Revival, 129 

While others became such favourites that even 
almost every service had to be hallowed by 
them; such as, 

"Jesus ! the name high over all, 
In hell, or earth, or sky ;" 

while an equal favourite almost, was, 

" Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing 
My great Redeemer's praise !" 

They must soon have become very well known, 
for so early as 1748, when a sad cluster of convicts, 
horse-stealers, highway robbers, burglars, smug- 
glers, and thieves, were led forth to execution, 
the turnkey of the prison said he had never seen 
such people before. The Methodists had been 
among them; they had all yielded themselves 
to the power of " the truth as it is in Jesus," 
and on their way to Tyburn they all sang 

" Lamb of God ! whose bleeding love 

We now recall to mind, 
Send the answer from above, 

And let us mercy find ; 
Think on us, who think of Thee, 

And every struggling soul release ; 
Oh ! remember Calvary, 

And let us go in peace !" 

The hymns found their way to sick beds. 
The old Earl of Derby, the grandfather of the 
present peer, was dying at Knowsley. He had 

130 The Great Revival. 

for his housekeeper there a Mrs. Brass, a good 
and faithful Methodist; the old Earl was fond of 
talking with her upon religious matters, and 
one day she read to him the well-known hymn, 
" All ye that pass by, to Jesus draw nigh." 
When she came to the lines, 

" The Lord in the day of His anger did lay 
Our sins on the Lamb, and he bore them away," 

the Earl looked up and said, " Stop ! don't 
you think, Mrs. Brass, that ought to be, ' The 
Lord in the day of his mercy did lay ' ?" 

The old lady did not admit the validity of 
his lordship's theology; but it very abundantly 
showed that his experience had passed through 
the verse, and reached to the true meaning of 
the hymn. An old blind woman was hearing 
Peter McOwan preach. He quoted these lines: 

" The Lord pours eyesight on the blind ; 
The Lord supports the fainting mind." 

The poor old woman was not happy until she 
met the preacher, and she said, " But are there 
really such sweet verses ? Are you sure the 
book contains such a hymn ?" and he read the 
whole to her. It is one by Watts : 

"I'll praise my Maker while I've breath." 

Innumerable are the anecdotes of these 
hymns; they inaugurated really the rise of Eng- 

The Singers of the Revival. 131 

lish hymnology; and it is not too much to say 
that, as compared with them, many more re- 
cent hymns are as tinsel compared with gold. 
A writer truly says : " They sob, they swell, 
they meet the spirit in its most hushed and 
plaintive mood. They roll and bear it aloft, in 
its most inspired and prophetic moods, as on 
the surge of more than a mighty organ swell; 
among the mines and quarries, and wild moors 
of Cornwall, among the factories of Lancashire 
and Yorkshire, in chambers of death, in the 
most joyous assemblages of the household, 
they have relieved the hard lot, and sweetened 
the pleasant one; and even in other lands sol- 
diers and sailors, slaves and prisoners, have re- 
cited with what joy these words have entered 
into their life." 

Thus the great hymns of this period grew 
and became a religious power in the land, 
strangely contradicting a verdict which Car- 
dinal Wiseman pronounced some years since, 
that " all Protestant devotion is dead." While 
we give all honour to the fine hymns of Den- 
mark and Germany, many of the best of which 
were translated with the movement, it may, 
with no exaggeration, be said that the hymn- 
ology of England in the eighteenth century is 
the finest and most complete which the history 
of the Church has known. 

132 The Great Revival. 



There came with the work of the Revival a 
practice, without which it is more than ques- 
tionable if it would have obtained such a rapid 
and abiding hold upon the various populations 
and districts of the country ; this was lay 
preaching. The designation must have a more 
inclusive interpretation than we generally ap- 
ply to it; we must understand by it rather the 
work of those men who, in contradistinction 
to the great leaders of the Revival — men of 
scholarship, of universities, and of education — 
possessed none of these qualifications, or but in 
a more slight and undisciplined degree. They 
were converted men, modified by various tem- 
peraments; they one and all possessed an ar- 
dent zeal; but, in many instances, we shall 
find that they were as much devoted to the 
work of the ministry as those who had received 
a regular ordination. It is singular that preju- 
dices so strong should exist against lay preach- 
ing and preachers, for the practice has surely 
received the sanction of the most ancient 

Lay Preaching, 133 

usages of the Church, as even Dr. Southey ad- 
mits, in his notes to the Life of Wesley. Thus, 
in the history of the Church, this phenomenon 
could scarcely be regarded as new. Orders of 
preaching friars; "hedge-preachers," "black, 
white, and grey," with all their company; dis- 
ciples of Francis, Dominic, or Ignatius, had 
spread over Europe during the dark and 
mediaeval ages. Although this rousing element 
of Church life had not found much expression 
in the^churches of the Reformation, yet with 
the impulse of the new Revival, up started 
these men by multitudes. The reason of this 
was very simple. There is a well-known little 
anecdote of some town missionary standing up 
in a broad highway preaching to a multitude. 
He was arrested by a Roman Catholic priest, 
who asked him from the edge of the crowd by 
what authority he dared to stand there ? and 
who had given him the right to preach ? The 
man had his New Testament in his hand; he 
rapidly turned to the last chapter of it, and 
said, "I find it written here, 'Let him that 
heareth say, Come !' I have heard, and I would 
say Come !" The anecdote represents suffi- 
ciently the rise and progress of lay preaching 
in the Revival. There first appeared, naturally, 
a simple set of men, who, in their different 
spheres, would, perhaps, lead and direct a 

134 The Great Revival. 

prayer-meeting, and round it with some pious 
and gentle exhortation. We have already- 
pointed out the necessity soon felt for frequent 
and reciprocative services ; these were not the 
lay preachers to whom we refer; but in this 
fraternal form of Church fellowship, the lay 
preacher had his origin. 

Wesley imposed restrictions upon his helpers 
which he soon found himself compelled to re- 
nounce. John Wesley was a strong adherent 
to the idea of Church order. The first lay 
preacher in his communion who leapt over 
the traces was Thomas Maxfield. It was at 
the Foundry in Moor Fields. Wesley was in 
Bristol, and the intelligence was conveyed to 
him. He appears to have regarded it as a se- 
rious and dangerous innovation. The good 
Susannah Wesley, his mother — now past three- 
score years and ten — infirm and feeble, was yet 
living in the Chapel House of the Foundry. 
To her John hurried on his arrival in London ; 
and after his affectionate salutations and inqui- 
ries, he expressed such a manifest dissatisfac- 
tion and anxiety that she inquired the cause. 
With some indignation and unusual abruptness, 
he said, " Thomas Maxfield has turned preacher, 
I find;" and then the wise and saintly woman 
gave him her advice. She reminded him that, 
from her prejudices against lay preaching he 

Lay Preaching. 135 

could not suspect her of favouring anything of 
the kind ; "but take care," she said, "what you 
do respecting that young man, for he is as surely 
called of God to preach as you are." She ad- 
vised her son to hear Maxfield for himself. He 
did so, and at once buried all his prejudices. 
He exclaimed after the sermon, "It is the 
Lord, let Him do what seemeth Him good ! " 
and Thomas Maxfield became the first of a 
host who spread all over the country. 

It may be supposed that the Countess of 
Huntingdon very naturally shared all Wesley's 
prejudices against lay preaching; but she heard 
Maxfield preach, and she wrote of him, "God 
has raised one from the stones to sit among 
the princes of the people. He is my astonish- 
ment ; how is God's power shown in weakness! " 
and she soon set herself to the work of supply- 
ing an order of men, of whom Maxfield was the 
first to lead the way. By-and-by came another 
innovation : the lay evangelists at first never 
went into the pulpit, but spoke from among 
the people, or from the desk. The first who 
broke through this usage was Thomas Walsh; 
we will say more of him presently. He was a 
man of deep humility, and his life reveals entire 
and extraordinary consecration; but he be- 
lieved himself to be an ambassador for Christ, 
and he walked directly up into the pulpit, never 

136 The G?-eat Revival. 

questioning, but quite disregarding the usual 
custom. The majesty of his manner, his solemn, 
impressive, and commanding eloquence, for- 
bade all remark; and henceforth all the lay 
preachers followed his example. There arose 
a band of extraordinary men. Let the reader 
refer to the chronicles of their lives, and the 
effects of their labours, and he will not suppose 
that he has seen anything in our day at all 
approaching to what they were. 

Local preachers have now long been part of 
the great organisation of Methodism. But in 
the period to which we refer, it must be 
remembered that the pen had not commenced 
the exercise of its more popular influence. 
There were few authors, few journalists, very 
few really popular books; these men, then, with 
their various gifts of elevated holiness, broad and 
rugged humour, or glowing imagination, went 
to and fro among the people, rousing and 
instructing the dormant mind of the country. 
Then it was Wesley's great aim to sustain 
interest by variety. Wesley himseJf said that 
he believed he should preach himself and his 
congregation asleep if he were to confine his 
ministrations to one pulpit for twelve months. 
We would take the liberty to say in reference 
to this, that it would depend upon whether he 
kept his own mind fresh and wakeful during 

Lay Preaching. 137 

the time. He writes, however: "We have 
found by long and constant experience, that a 
frequent change of teachers is best; this 
preacher has one talent, that another. No one 
whom I ever knew has all the talents which 
are needful for beginning, continuing, and per- 
fecting the work in a whole congregation ; 
neither," he adds, " can he find matter for 
preaching morning and evening, nor will the 
people come to hear him; hence he grows cold, 
and so do the people; whereas if he never stays 
more than a fortnight together in one place, he 
may find matter enough, and the people will 
gladly hear him." 

This certainly gives an idea but of a plain 
order of services; and, no doubt, some of Wes- 
ley's preachers were of the plainest. There 
was Michael Fenwick, of whom Wesley says, 
"he was just made to travel with me — an 
excellent groom, valet de chambre, nurse, and, 
upon occasion, a tolerable preacher." This 
good man was one day vain enough to complain 
to Wesley, that although he was constantly 
travelling with him, his name was never 
inserted in Wesley's published Journals. In 
the next number he found himself immortalised 
with his master there. " I left Epworth," 
writes Wesley, " with great satisfaction, and 
about one, preached at Clayworth. I think 

138 The Great Revival. 

none were unmoved but Michael Fenwick, who 
fell fast asleep under an adjoining hayrick." 

A higher type of man, but still of the very 
plain order of preachers, was Joseph Bradford. 
He also was Wesley's frequent travelling com- 
panion, and he judged no service too servile by 
which he could show his reverence for his 
master. But on one occasion Wesley directed 
him to carry a packet of letters to the post. 
The occasion was very extraordinary, and 
Bradford wished to hear Wesley's sermon first. 
Wesley was urgent and insisted that the letters 
must go. Bradford refused; he would hear the 
sermon. "Then," said Wesley, "you and I 
must part !" " Very good, sir," said Bradford. 
The service was over. They slept in the same 
room. On rising in the morning, Wesley ac- 
costed his old friend and companion, and asked 
if he had considered what had been said, 
that they must part. " Yes, sir," replied 
Bradford. " And must we part ?" inquired 
Wesley. " Please yourself, sir," was the re- 
ply. "Will you ask my pardon?" rejoined 
Wesley. "No, sir." "You wont?" "No, 
sir." " Then I will ask yours," replied the 
great man. It is said that Bradford melted 
under the words, and wept like a child. But 
we must not convey the idea that the early 
preachers were generally of this order. " In a 

Lay Preaching. 139 

great house there are vessels to honour and 
vessels to dishonour." " Vessels of dishonour" 
assuredly were none of these men: but there 
were some who attained to a greatness almost 
as remarkable as the greatness of the three, 
Whitefield and the Wesleys. 

What a man was John Nelson ! His was a 
life full of singular incidents. It was truly 
apostolic, whether we consider its holy mag- 
nanimity, the violence and vehemence of the 
cruel persecutions he encountered, or his singu- 
lar power over excited mobs; reminding us 
sometimes of Paul fighting as with wild beasts 
at Ephesus, or standing with cunning tact, and 
disarming at once captain and crowd on the 
steps of the Castle at Jerusalem. Then, al- 
though he was but a poor working stone- 
mason, he had a high gentlemanly bearing, be- 
fore which those who considered themselves 
gentlemen, magistrates and others, fell back 
abashed and ashamed. He was one of the 
prophets of Yorkshire; and many of the large 
Societies at this day in Leeds, Halifax, and 
Bradford owe their foundation to him. It 
seems wonderful to us now, that merely preach- 
ing the word of truth, and especially as John 
Nelson preached it, with such a cheerful, radi- 
ant, and even heavenly manner, should bring 
out mighty mobs to assault him. The stories 

140 The Great Revival. 

of his itinerancy are innumerable, and his life 
is really one of the most romantic in these 
preaching- annals. At Nottingham, while he 
was preaching, the crowds threw squibs at him 
and round him; but, as he was still pursuing 
his path of speech, a sergeant in the army 
pressed up to him, with tears, saying, " In the 
presence of God and all this company, I beg 
your pardon. I came here on purpose to mob 
you, but I have been compelled to hear you; 
and I here declare I believe you to be a servant 
of the living God !" He threw his arms round 
Nelson's neck, kissed him, and went away 
weeping; and we see him no more. Perhaps 
more remarkable still was his reception at 
Grimsby. There the clergyman of the parish 
hired a drummer to gather a great mob, as he 
said, " to defend the rights of the Church." 
The storm which raged round Nelson was wild 
and ferocious ; but it illustrates the power of 
this extraordinary man over his rudest hearers, 
that after beating his drum for a long time, the 
poor drummer threw it away, and stood listen- 
ing, the tears running down his cheeks. 

Nelson was a man of immense physical 
strength; his own trade had fostered this, and 
before his conversion he had, no doubt, been 
feared as a man who could hit out and hit hard. 
As the most effectual means of silencing him, 


Lay Preaching. 143 

he was pressed for a soldier; but John was not 
only a Methodist, he had adopted the Quaker 
notion that a Christian dare not fight; and he 
seems to have been a real torment to the offi- 
cers and men of the regiment, who indeed 
marched him about different parts of the coun- 
try, but could not get him either to accept the 
king's money or to submit to drill. An officer 
put him in prison for rebuking his profanity, 
and threatened to chastise him. Nelson says, 
" It caused a sore temptation to arise in me; to 
think that a wicked, ignorant man should thus 
torment me, and I able to tie his head and heels 
together. I found an old man's bone in me; 
but the Lord lifted up the standard within, else 
should I have wrung his neck and set my foot 
upon him." 

At length, after three months, the Countess 
of Huntingdon procured his discharge. The 
regiment was in Newcastle. He preached there 
on the evening of the day on which he was 
liberated, and it is testified that a number of 
the soldiers from his regiment came to hear 
him, and parted from him with tears. He was 
arrested as a vagrant, without any visible 
means of living. A gentleman instantly stepped 
forward and offered five hundred pounds bail ; 
but the bail was refused. He was able to 
prove that he was a high-charactered, indus- 

144 The Great Revival. 

trious workman ; but it availed nothing. Crowds 
wept and prayed for him as he was borne 
through the streets. "Fear not!" he cried, 
"oh, friends; God hath His way in the whirl- 
wind, and in the storm. Only pray that my 
faith fail not ! " It was at Bradford. They 
thrust him into a most filthy dungeon. The 
authorities would give him no food. The peo- 
ple thrust in food, water, and candles. He 
shared these with some wretched prisoners in 
the same cage, and he sang hymns, and talked 
to them all night. He was marched off to 
York ; but there the excitement was so great 
when it was known that John Nelson was com- 
ing a prisoner that armed troops were ordered 
out to guard him. He says, " Hell from be- 
neath was moved to meet me at my coming ! " 
All the windows were crowded with people — 
some in sympathy, but most cheering and huz- 
zaing as if some great political traitor had been 
arrested; but he says, "The Lord made my 
brow like brass, so that I could look upon all 
the people as grasshoppers, and pass through 
the city as if there had been none in it but God 
and me." 

Such was John Nelson. These anecdotes are 
sufficient to show the manner of man he was. 
He has been truly called "the proto-martyr of 
Methodism." But it is not in a hint or two that 

Lay Preaching. 145 

all can be said which ought to be said of this 
noble and extraordinary man. His conversion, 
perhaps, sank down to deeper roots than in 
many instances. The thoughts of Methodism 
found him perplexed with those agonizing ques- 
tions which have tormented men in all ages, un- 
til they have realized the truth as it is in Jesus. 
His life was guilty of no immoralities; he had 
a happy, humble home, was industrious, and 
receiving good wages; but as he walked to 
and fro among the fields he was distressed, 
"for," he said, " surely God never made man to 
be such a riddle to himself, and to leave him 
so." He heard Wesley preach. "Then," he 
says, "my heart beat like the pendulum of a 
clock, and I thought his whole discourse was 
aimed at me;" and so, in short, he became a 
Methodist, and a Methodist preacher; and 
among the noble names in the history of the 
Church of Christ, in his own line and order, it 
may be doubted v/hether a nobler name can be 
mentioned than that of John Nelson. 

Quite another order of man, less human, 
but equally divine, was Thomas Walsh. His 
parents were Romanists, and he was intended 
by them for the Romish priesthood; and he 
appears to have been an intense Romanist 
ascetic until about eighteen years of age. He 
had a thoughtful and exceedingly intense na- 

146 The Great Revival. 

ture, and his faith was no rest to him. In his 
dilemma he heard a Methodist preacher speak 
one day from the text, "Come unto Me, all ye 
that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give 
you rest." It appears to have been the turn- 
ing-point of a remarkable life. 

" The life of Thomas Walsh," says Dr. 
Southey, " might almost convince a Catholic 
that saints were to be found in other com- 
munions as well as in the Church of Rome." 
Walsh became a great biblical scholar ; he 
was an Irishman, he mastered the native 
Irish, that he might preach in it; but Latin, 
Greek, and Hebrew became familiar to him; 
and of the Hebrew, especially, it is said that 
he studied so deeply, that his memory was an 
entire concordance of the whole Bible. His 
soul was as a flame of fire, but it burnt out the 
body quickly. John Wesley says of him, " I do 
not remember ever to have known a man who, 
in so few years as he remained upon earth, was 
the instrument of converting so many sinners." 
He became mighty in his influence over the 
Roman Catholics. The priests said that 
" Walsh had died some years ago, and that he 
who went about preaching, on mountains and 
highways, in meadows, private houses, prisons, 
and ships, was a devil who had assumed his 
shape." This was the only way in which they 

Lay Preaching. 147 

could account for the extraordinary influence 
he possessed. His labours were greatly divided 
between Ireland and London, but everywhere 
he bore down all before him by a kind of 
absorbed ecstasy of ardent faith; but he died at 
the age of twenty-seven. While lying on his 
death-bed he was oppressed with a sense of 
despair, even of his salvation. The sufferings 
of his mind on this account were protracted and 
intense; at last he broke out in an exclamation, 
" He is come ! He is come ! My Beloved is 
mine, and I am His for ever !" and so he fell 
back and died. Thomas Walsh is a great name 
still in the records of the lay preachers of early 

All orders of men rose: different from any we 
have mentioned was George Story, whose 
quiet, but earnest and reasonable nature, seems 
to have commanded the especial love of 
Southey. He appears never to have become 
what some call an, enthusiast; but he interest- 
ingly illustrates, that it was not merely over the 
rugged and uninformed minds that the power 
of the Revival exercised its influence. Very 
curiously, he appears to have been converted 
by thinking about Eugene Aram, the well- 
known scholar, whose name has become so 
celebrated in fiction and in poetry, and who 
had a short time before been executed for 

148 The Great Revival. 

murder at York. Story was impressed by the 
importance of the acquisition of knowledge, 
and Aram's extraordinary attainments kindled 
in his mind a sense of admiration and emulation; 
but, as he thought upon his life, he reasoned, 
" What did this man's learning profit him ? It 
did not save him from becoming a thief and a 
murderer, or even from attempting his own 
life." It was an immense suggestion to him ; it 
led him upon another track of thinking. The 
Methodists came through his village; he yielded 
himself to the influence, and Dr. Southey 
thinks " there is not in the whole biography of 
Methodism a more interesting or remarkable 
case than his." He became a great preacher, 
but disarmed and convinced men rather by his 
calm, dispassionate elevation of manner, than 
by such weapons as the cheerful bonhomie of 
Nelson, or the fervid fire of Walsh. 

But we are, perhaps, conveying the idea that 
it was only beneath the administration of John 
Wesley that these great lay preachers were to 
be found. It was not so; but no doubt beneath 
that administration their itinerancy became 
more systematic and organised. Whitefield 
does not appear to have at all shared Wesley's 
prejudices on this means of usefulness ; but those 
men who fell beneath the influence of White- 
field, or the Countess, seem soon to meet us as 

Lay Preaching. 1 49 

settled ministers, in many, if not in all instances. 
Among them there are few greater names in 
the whole Revival than those of Captain Jona- 
than Scott and the renowned Captain Toriel 
Joss. Captain Scott was a captain of dragoons, 
and one of the heroes of Minden ; he was 
converted by the instrumentality of William 
Romaine, who, in spite of his prejudices against 
lay preaching, encouraged him in his excursions, 
in which he spoke to immense crowds with 
great effect. Fletcher, of Madeley, said, " his 
coat shames many a black one." He was a gen- 
tleman of an ancient and opulent family, and 
the Countess, who, naturally, was delighted to 
see people of her own order by her side, felt her- 
self greatly strengthened by him. It was said, 
when he preached at Leeds, the whole town 
turned out to hear him; and he was one of the 
great preachers of the Tabernacle in Moorfields, 
during more than twenty years. But yet a far 
more famous man was Toriel Joss. He was a 
captain of the seas, and had led a life which 
somewhat reminds us of Newton's. He was a 
good and even great sailor, but he became a 
greater preacher. Whitefield said of these two 
men, that " God, who sitteth upon the flood, 
can bring a shark from the ocean, and a lion 
from the forest, to show forth his praise." Joss 
was a man of property, with a fair prospect of 


The Great Revival. 

considerable wealth, when he renounced the 
seas and became one of the great lay preachers. 
Whitefield insisted that he should abandon the 
chart, the compass, and the deck, and take to 
the pulpit. He did so. In London his fame 
was second only to that of Whitefield himself. 


He became Whitefield's coadjutor at the Taber- 
nacle, where, first as associate pastor, and 
afterwards as pastor, he continued for thirty 
years. The chapel at Tottenham Court Road 
was his chief field, and John Berridge called him 
" Whitefield's Archdeacon of Tottenham." 

Lay Preaching. 151 

We cannot particularise others : there were 
Sampson Staniforth, the soldier, Alexander 
Mather, Christopher Hopper, John Haime, 
John Parson — and these are only representative 
names. There were crowds of them ; they 
travelled to and fro, with hard fare, throughout 
the land. Their excursions were not recrea- 
tions or amusements. Attempt to think what 
England was at that time. It is a fact that 
they often had to swim through streams and 
wade through snows to keep their appoint- 
ments ; often to sleep in summer in the open 
air, beneath the trees of a forest. Sometimes a 
preacher was seen with a spade strapped to his 
back, to cut a way for man and horse through 
the heavy snow-drifts. Highwaymen were 
abroad, and there are many odd stories about 
their encounters with these men ; but, then, 
usually, they had nothing to lose. Rogers, in 
his Lives of the Early Preachers, tells a charac- 
teristic story. One of these lay preachers, as 
usual on horseback, was waylaid by three rob- 
bers; one of them seized the bridle of his horse, 
the second put a pistol to his head, the third 
began to pull him from the saddle — all, of 
course, declaring that they would have his 
money or his life. The preacher looked sol- 
emnly at them, and asked them " if they had 
prayed that morning." This confounded them 

152 The- Great Revival. 

a little, still they continued their work of plun- 
der. One pulled out a knife to rip the saddle- 
bag open; the preacher said, " There are only- 
some books and tracts there; as to money, I 
have only twopence halfpenny in my pocket ;" 
he took it out and gave it them. " All that 
I have of value about me," he said, " is my 
coat. I am a servant of God ; I am going on 
His errand to preach ; but let me kneel down 
and pray with you; that will do you more good 
than anything I can give you." One of them 
said, " I will have nothing to do with anything 
we can get from this man!" They had taken 
his watch; they restored this, and took up the 
bags and fastened them again on the horse. 
The preacher thanked them for their great 
civility to him; "But now," said he, "I will 
pray !" and he fell upon his knees, and prayed 
with great power* Two of the rascals, utterly 
frightened at this treatment, started off as fast 
as their legs could carry them; the third — he 
who had first refused to have anything to do 
with the job — continued on his knees with the 
preacher ; and when they parted company he 
promised that he would try to lead a new life, 
and hoped to become a new man. 

Should the reader search the old magazines 
and documents in which are enshrined the 
records of the early days of the Revival, he will 

• Lay Preaching. 153 

find many incidents showing what a romantic 
story is this of the self-denials, the difficulties, 
and enthusiasm of these men, whose best record 
is on high — most of them faithful men, like 
Alexander Coates, who, after a life of singular 
length and usefulness in the work, went to his 
rest. His talents were said to be extraordin- 
ary, both in preaching and in conversation. 
Just as he was dying, one of his brethren called 
upon him and said, " You don't think you have 
followed a cunningly-devised fable now ?" " No, 
no, no !" said the dying man. " And what do 
you see ?" "Land ahead !" said the old man. 
They were his last words. Such were the men 
of this Great Revival; so they lived their lives 
of faithful usefulness, and so they passed away. 

1 54 The Great Revival 



If we were writing a sustained history of the 
Revival, we might devote some pages, at this 
period, to notice the varied forms of satire and 
ribaldry by which it was greeted. While the 
noble bands of preachers were pursuing their 
way, instructing and awakening the popular 
mind of the country, not only heartless and 
affected dilettanti, like Horace Walpole, re- 
garded it with the condescension of their su- 
percilious sneers, but for the more popular taste 
there was The Spiritual Quixote ■, a book which 
even now has its readers, and in which White- 
field and his followers were held up to ridicule; 
and Lackington, the great bookseller, in his 
disgraceful, but entertaining autobiography, at- 
tempted to cover the Societies of Wesley with 
his scurrility. It was about the year 1750 that 
The Minor was brought out on the stage of the 
Haymarket Theatre; the author was that great 
comedian, but most despicable and dissolute 
character, Foote. The play lies before us as 
we write; we have taken it down to notice the 
really shameless buffoonery and falsehood in 

A Gallery of Revivalist Portraits. 155 

which it indulges. Whitefield is especially- 
libelled and burlesqued. The Countess of 
Huntingdon waited personally on the Lord 
Chamberlain, and besought him to suppress it; 
it was not much to the credit of his lordship's 
knowledge, that he declared, had he known the 
evil influence of the thing before it was licensed, 
it should not have been produced, but being 
licensed, it was beyond his control. Then the 
good Countess waited on David Garrick; Gar- 
rick knew and admired Whitefield; he received 
her with distinguished kindness and respect, 
and it is to his honour that, through his influ- 
ence, it was temporarily suppressed. It seems 
a singular compensation that the author of this 
piece, who permitted himself to indulge in the 
most disgraceful insinuations against one of the 
holiest and purest of men, a few years after was 
charged with a great crime, of which he was, 
no doubt, quite innocent, and died a broken- 
hearted and beggared man. 

Another of these disgraceful stage libels, The 
Hypocrite, appeared at Drury Lane in 1768; in 
it are the well-known characters of Dr. Cant- 
well, and Mawworm, and old Lady Lambert. 
There is more of a kind of genius in it than in 
The Minor > but it was all stolen property, and 
little more than an appropriation from Moliere's 
Tartuffe and Gibber's Nonjuror. All these 

156 The Great Revival. 

things are forgotten now; but they are worthy 
of notice as entering into the history of the 
Revival, and showing the malice which was 
stirred in multitudes of minds against men and 
designs, on the whole, so innocent and holy. 
Was it not written from of old, " The carnal 
mind is enmity against God " ? 

But as to the movement itself, companions- 
in-arms, and of a very high order alike for val- 
our and character, crowded to the field ; we 
have referred to several distinguished laymen ; 
it is at least equally important to notice that 
while the leaders of the Church were, as a 
body, set in array against it — while archbish- 
ops and bishops of that day frowned, or scoffed 
and scorned, there were a number of clergymen 
whose piety, whose wit and eloquence, whose 
affluent humour, whose learning, whose intrep- 
idity and sleepless variety of labour, surround 
their names, even now as then, with a charm 
of interest, making every life as it comes before 
us a readable and delightful recreation. Some 
of them were assuredly oddities; it is not long 
since we made a pilgrimage to Everton, in 
Bedfordshire, to read the singular epitaph, on 
the tomb in the churchyard, of one of the odd- 
est and most extraordinary of all these men. 
Even if our readers have read that epitaph, it 
will do them no harm to read it again : 

A Gallery of Revivalist Portraits. 157 

Here lie 

The earthly remains of 

John Berridge, 

Late Vicar of Everton, 

And an itinerant servant of Jesus Christ, 

Who loved his Master, and His work, 

And after running on His errands many years, 

Was called up to wait on Him above. 


Art thou born again ? 

No salvation without a New Birth ! 

I was born in sin, February, 17 16, 

Remained ignorant of my fallen state till 1730, 

Lived proudly on Faith and Works for Salvation 

Till 1 75 1. 

Was admitted to Everton Vicarage, 1755. 

Fled to Jesus alone for refuge, 1756. 

Fell asleep in Christ Jesus, January 22, 1793. 

With the exception of the date of his death, 
it was written by the hand that moulders be- 
neath the stone ; -it is characteristic that its 
writer caused himself to be buried in that part 
of the churchyard where, up to that time, only 
those had been interred who had destroyed 
themselves, or come to an ignominious end. 
Before his death he had often said that he 
would take this effectual means of consecrating 
that unhallowed spot. 

This epitaph sufficiently shows that John 
Berridge was an original character. Southey 
says of him that he was a buffoon and a fanatic. 
Southey's judgments about the men of the Re- 

158 The Great Revival, 

vival were frequently as shallow as they were 
unjust; he must have felt a sharp sting when, 
as doubtless was the case, he heard the well- 
known anecdote of George IV., who, on read- 
ing Richard Watson's calm reply to Southey's 
attacks on the Methodist leaders, exclaimed, 
as he laid down the book, "Oh, my poor Poet 
Laureate !" He deserved all that and a good 
deal more, if only for the verdict we have 
quoted on Berridge. So far as scholarship may 
test a man, John Berridge was most likely a 
far deeper scholar than Dr. Southey; he was a 
distinguished member of Clare Hall, Cambridge, 
and for many years read and studied fourteen 
hours a day; but he was an uncontrollable droll 
and humourist ; pithy proverbs fell spontaneous- 
ly along all his speech. As one critic says of 
his style, " It was like granulated salt." As a 
preacher, he was equal to any multitudes ; he 
lived among farmers and graziers, and the 
twinkling of his eye, all alive with shrewd 
cheerfulness, compelled attention even before 
he opened his lips. The late Dr. Guthrie, not 
long before his death, thought it worth his 
while to republish The Christian World Un- 
masked; pray Come and Peep; and it is charac- 
teristic of Berridge throughout. 

After his conversion, his Bishop called him 
up and threatened to send him to gaol for 

A Gallery of Revivalist Portraits. 159 

preaching out of his parish. Our readers may 
imagine with such a man what sort of confer- 
ence it was, and which of the two would be 
likely to get the worst of it: " I tell you," said 
the Bishop, " if you continue preaching where 
you have no right, you are very likely to be 
sent to Huntingdon Gaol." " I have no more 
regard for a gaol than other folks," said he; 
"but I would rather go there with a good con- 
science than be at liberty without one." The 
conference is too long for quotation, but Ber- 
ridge held on his way; he became one of the 
most beloved and intimate friends of the 
Countess of Huntingdon; and if he shocked his 
bishop by preaching out of his own parish, he 
must have roused his wrath by preaching in 
her ladyship's chapel in London, and through- 
out the country. His letters to the Countess 
are as characteristic as his speech, or any other 
of his writings. Thus he writes to her about 
young Rowland Hill, "I find you have got 
honest Rowland down to Bath ; he is a pretty 
young spaniel, fit for land or water, and he has 
a wonderful yelp; he forsakes father and mother 
and brethren, and gives up all for Jesus, and I 
believe he will prove a useful labourer if he 
keeps clear of petticoat snares." No doubt, 
Berridge sometimes seemed not only racy, but 
rude; but his words were wonderfully calcu- 

160 The Great Revival. 

lated to meet the average and level of an im- 
mense congregation. While he lived on terms 
of fellowship with all the great leaders of the 
movement, he was faithful as the vicar of his 
own parish, and was the apostle of the whole 
region of Bedfordshire. 

With all his shrewd worldly wisdom, Ber- 
ridge had a most benevolent hand; he was rich, 
and devoted far more than the income of his 
vicarage to helping his poor neighbours, sup- 
porting itinerant ministers, renting houses 
and barns for preaching the Gospel, and, how- 
ever far he travelled to preach, always disburs- 
ing his expenses from his own pocket. How 
he would have loved John Bunyan, and how 
John Bunyan would have loved him ! It is 
curious that within a few miles of the place 
where the illustrious dreamer was so long 
imprisoned, one should arise out of the very 
Church which persecuted Bunyan, to do for a 
long succession of years, on the same ground, 
the work for which he was persecuted. 

From the low Bedford level, what a flight to 
the wildest spot in wild Yorkshire, Haworth, 
and its venerable old parish church, celebrated 
now as a classic region, haunted by the memory 
of the author of Jane Eyre, and all the Bronte 
family; but in the times of which we are writing, 
the vicar, William Grimshaw, was quite as 

A Gallery of Revivalist Portraits. 161 

queer and quaint a creature as Berridge. A 
wild spot now — a stern, grand place; desolate 
moors still seeming to stretch all round it; 
though more easily reached in this day, it must 
indeed have been a rough solitude when William 
Grimshaw became its vicar, in 1742. He was 
born in 1708; he died in 1763. He was a man 
something of the nature of the wild moors 
around him. When he became the pastor of 
the parish, the people all round him were 
plunged in the most sottish heathenism. The 
pastor was a kind of son of the desert, and he 
became such an one as the Baptist, crying in 
the wilderness. The people were rough, they 
perhaps needed a rough shepherd; they had 
one. The character of Grimshaw is that of a 
rough, faithful, and not less beautiful shepherd's 
dog. On the Sabbath morning he would com- 
mence his service, giving out the psalm, and 
having taken note of the absentees from the 
congregation, would start off, while the psalm 
was being sung, to drive in the loiterers, visiting 
the ale-houses, routing out the drinkers, and 
literally compelling them to come into the 
parish church. One Sabbath morning, a 
stranger riding through Haworth, seeing some 
men scrambling over a garden wall, and some 
others leaping through a low window, imagined 
the house was on fire. He inquired what was 

1 62 The Great Revival. 

the matter. One of them cried out, "The 
parson's a coming !" and that explained the 
riddle. Upon another occasion, as a man was 
passing through the village, on the Sabbath 
day, on his way to call a doctor, his horse lost 
a shoe. He found his way to the village 
smithy to have his loss repaired. The black- 
smith told him that it was the Lord's day, and the 
work could not be done unless the minister 
gave his permission. So they went to the par- 
son, who, of course, as the case was urgent and 
necessary, gave his consent. But the story 
illustrates the mastery the vicar attained over 
the rough minds around him. He was a man 
of a hardy mould. He was intensely earnest. 
He not only effected a mighty moral change in 
his own parish, but Haworth was visited every 
Sabbath by pilgrims from miles round to listen 
to this singular, strong, mountain voice; so that 
the church became unequal to the great con- 
gregations, and he often had to preach in the 
churchyard, a desolate looking spot now, but 
alive with mighty concourses then. It is said 
that his strong, pithy words haunted men long 
after they were spoken, as the infidel nobleman, 
who, in an affected manner, told him he was 
unable to see the truth of Christianity. "The 
fault," said the rough vicar, "is not so much in 
your lordship's head as in your heart." 

A Gallery of Revivalist Portraits. 165 

Grimshaw was the first who kindled in the 
wild heights of Yorkshire the flames of the 
Revival. His mind was stirred simultaneously 
with others, but he does not appear to have 
received either from Whitefield or Wesley the 


impulses which created his extraordinary char- 
acter, though he, of course, entered heartily 
into all their work. They visited Haworth, 
and preached to immense concourses there. 
As to Grimshaw himself, in the most irregular 

1 66 The Great Revival. 

manner, he preached in the Methodist convent- 
icles and dissenting chapels in all the country 
round. He effected an entire change in his 
own neighbourhood. He put down the races ; 
he reformed the village feasts, wakes, and fairs. 
He was often expecting suspension, and at last 
he was cited before the Archbishop, who in- 
quired of him as to the number of his com- 
municants. " How many," said his grace, " had 
you when you first went to Haworth ?" 
" Twelve." " And how many now ?" " In the 
summer, about twelve hundred." The aston- 
ished Archbishop turned to his assistants in 
the examination, and said, " I really cannot 
find fault with Mr. Grimshaw when he brings so 
many people to the Lord's Table." Southey is 
also complimentary, in his own way, to this 
singular clergyman, and says, "He was cer- 
tainly mad !" 

It was what Festus said to Paul ; but the 
madness of the pastor of Haworth was a bless- 
ing to the farms and cottages of those wild 
moorlands. He was a child of nature in her 
most beautiful moods, glorified by Divine grace. 
The freshness and buoyancy of the heath his 
foot so lightly pressed, and the torrents which 
sung around him, were but typical of his hardy 
naturalness and beauty of character. Truly it 
has been said, it was not more natural that the 

&\ii <&rrat $ebibal. 

William Grimshaw. 

p. 168. 

A Gallery of Revivalist Portraits. 169 

gentle lover of nature should lie at the foot of 
Helvellyn, than that this watchman of the 
mountains should sleep at the foot of the hills 
amongst which he had so faithfully laboured. 
He died comparatively young. His last words 
were very characteristic. Robert Shaw, an old 
Methodist preacher, called upon him; he said, 
"I will pray for you as long as I live, and if 
there is praying in heaven, I will pray for you 
there; I am as happy as I can be on earth, and 
as sure of glory as if I were in it." His last 
words were, " Here goes an unprofitable serv- 
ant !" 

The wild Yorkshire of that day took up the 
Revival with a will; and Henry Venn, of Hud- 
dersfield, we suppose, has even transcended by 
his usefulness the fame of either Berridge or 
Grimshaw ; he was born in 1724, and died in 
1797. His life was genial and fruitful, and to 
his church in Huddersfield the people poured 
in droves to listen to him. It has been said his 
life was like a field of wheat, or a fine summer 
day. And how are these to be painted or put 
upon the canvas ? He could scarcely be called 
eccentric, excepting in the sense in which 
earnestness, holiness, and usefulness are always 
eccentric. His influence may be said, in some 
directions, to continue still. He was one of the 
indefatigable coadjutors of the Countess in all 

170 The Great Revival. 

her work, and towards the close of his life he 
came to London to throw his influence round 
young Rowland Hill, by preaching for some 
time in Surrey Chapel. 

In another district of Yorkshire, a mighty 
movement was going on, commencing about 
1734. Benjamin Ingham, whom we met some 
time since at Oxford, as a member of the Holy 
Club, was living at Ossett, near Dewsbury. He 
had married Lady Margaret Hastings, a 
younger sister of the Countess of Huntingdon. 
He had received ordination in the Church of 
England, but his irregularities had forced him 
out. Like the Wesleys, in the earlier part of 
his history, he became enchanted with the 
devotional life of the Moravians, and at this 
period he introduced with marvellous results a 
modified Moravianism into the West Riding of 
Yorkshire. He founded as many as eighty 
Societies; but he appears to have attempted to 
carry out an impossible scheme, the union of 
the Moravian discipline and doctrine with his 
idea of Congregationalism. His influence over 
the West Riding for a long time was immense; 
but, most naturally, divisions arose, and the 
purely Moravian element separated itself into 
its own order of Church life, while the Methodist 
element was absorbed in the great and growing 
Wesleyan Societies. He was a friend of Count 

A Gallery of Revivalist Port}' aits. 17 x 

Zinzendorf, who was his guest for a long time 
at Ledstone House. The shock which his 
Society sustained, and the death of Lady 
Margaret, his admirable and beloved wife, 
were blows from which the good man never 
recovered; but the effects of his usefulness con- 
tinued, although he passed ; and if the reader 
ever visits the little Moravian Colony and 
Institution of Fulneck, near Leeds, in York- 
shire, he may be pleased to remember that 
this is also one of the offshoots of the Great 

It is a sudden leap from the West Riding of 
Yorkshire to Truro, the charming little capital 
of Western Cornwall. We are here met by 
an imperishable and beautiful name, that of 
Samuel Walker, the minister ; he was born in 
1714, and died in 1761. His influence over his 
town was great and abiding, and Walker of 
Truro is a name which to this day retains its 
fragrance, as associated with the restoration of 
his town from wild depravity to purity and ex- 
emplary piety. 

How impossible it is to do more than merely 
mention the names of men, every action of 
whose lives was consecrated, and every breath 
an ardent flame, all helping on and urging for- 
ward the great work of rousing a careless world 
and a careless Church. What an influence had 

172 The Great Revival. 

William Romaine, who for a long time, it has 
been said, was one of the sights of London ; it 
was rather drolly put when it was said, " People 
came from the country to see Garrick act and 
to hear Romaine preach !" Nor let our readers 
suppose that he was a mere sensational orator; 
he was a great scholar. We hear of him first 
as the Gresham Professor of Astronomy, and 
the editor of the four volumes of Calasio's 
Hebrew Concordance ; then he caught the 
evangelic fire; he became one of the chaplains 
of the Countess of Huntingdon, and, so far as 
the Church of the Establishment was con- 
cerned, he was the most considerable light of 
London for a period of nearly fifty years ; and 
very singular was his history in this relation, 
especially in some of the churches whose pul- 
pits he filled. It seems singular to us now how 
even his great talents could obtain for him the 
place of morning lecturer at St. George's, Han- 
over Square ; but the charge was soon urged 
against him that he vulgarised that most 
fashionable of congregations, and most uncom- 
fortably crowded the church. He was appoint- 
ed evening lecturer at St. Dunstan's in Fleet 
Street ; but the rector barred his entrance into 
the pulpit, seating himself there during the 
time of prayers, so that the preacher might be 
unable to enter. Lord Mansfield decided that, 

A Gallery of Revivalist Portraits. 173 

after seven in the evening, the church was not 
the rector's, but that Mr. Romaine was entitled 
to the use of it; then, at seven in the evening, 
the churchwardens closed the church doors, 
and kept the congregation outside, wearying 
them in the rain or in the cold. At length, the 
patience of the churchwardens gave way before 
the persistency of the people and the preacher; 
but it was an age of candles, and they refused 
to light the church, and Mr. Romaine often 
preached in a crowded church by the light of 
one candle. They paid him the merest mini- 
mum which he could demand, or which they 
were compelled to pay ; sometimes only eigh- 
teen pounds a year. But he was a hardy man, 
and he lived on the plainest fare, and dressed 
in homespun cloth. He was dragged repeat- 
edly before courts of law, but he was as difficult 
to manage here as in the church ; he brought 
his judges to the statutes, none of which he 
had broken. Every effort was made to expel 
him from the Church, but he would not be cast 
out; and at last he appears to have settled him- 
self, as such men generally do, into an irresist- 
ible fact. He became the Rector of St. Ann's, 
Blackfriars. There he preached those sermons 
which were shaped afterwards into the favour- 
ite book of our forefathers, The Life, Walk, and 
Triumph of Faith. Born in 17 14, he died in 


The Great Revival. 

1795. His last years were clothed with a pleas- 
ant serenity, although, perhaps, some have de- 
tected in his character marks of a severity, 
probably the result of those conflicts which, 


through so many years, he had with such re- 
markable consistency sustained. 

And surely we ought to mention, in this right 
noble band, John Newton ; but he brings us 

it <&rcat Bebifaal. 

St. Mary Woolnoth. John Newton. 

p. 176. 

A Gallery of Revivalist Portraits. 177 

near to the time when the passion of the Re- 
vival was settling itself into organisation and 
calm; when the fury of persecution was ceas- 
ing; Methodism was becoming even a respect- 
able and acknowledged fact. John Newton was 
born in 1725, and died in 1807. All his sympa- 
thies were with the theology and the activities 
of the revivalists ; but before he most singu- 
larly found himself the Rector of St. Mary 
Woolnoth, and St. Mary Woolchurch, he had 
led a life which, for its marvellous variety of 
incident, reads like one of Defoe's fictions. 

But his parlour in No. 8 Coleman Street 
Buildings, on a Friday evening, was thronged 
by all the dignitaries of the evangelical move- 
ment of his day. As he said, "I was a wild 
beast on the coast of Africa, but the Lord 
caught me and tamed me ; and now you come 
to see me as people go to see the lions in the 
Tower." A grand old man was John Newton, 
the young sailor transformed into the saintly 
old rector ; there he sat with few traces of the 
parson about him, in his blue pea-jacket, and 
his black neckerchief, liking still to retain 
something of the freedom of his old blue seas ; 
full of quaint wisdom, which never, like that of 
his friend Berridge, became rude or droll ; qui- 
etly sitting there and meditating; his enthusi- 
astic life apparently having subsided into still- 

178 The Great Revival. 

ness, while the Hannah Mores, Wilberforces, 
Claudius Buchanans, and John Campbells, went 
to him to find their enthusiasm confirmed. 
The friend of Cowper, who surely deserves to 
be called the Poet Laureate of the Revival — 
himself the author of some of the sweetest hymns 
we still sing ; the biographer of his own won- 
derful career, and of the life of his friend and 
brother-in-arms, William Grimshaw ; one of the 
finest of our religious letter-writers ; with ca- 
pacities within him for almost everything he 
might have thought it wise to undertake, he 
now seems to us appropriately to close this 
small gallery we have attempted to present. 
When the spirit of the Revival was either set- 
tling into firmness and consolidation, or strik- 
ing out into those new and marvellous fields of 
labour — its natural outgrowth — which another 
chapter may present succinctly to the eye, John 
Newton, by his great experience of men, his 
profound faith, his steady hand and clear eye, 
became the wise adviser and fosterer of schemes 
whose gigantic enterprise would certainly have 
astonished even his capacious intelligence. 

In closing this chapter it is quite worth while 
to notice that, various as were the characters 
of these men, and of their innumerable com- 
rades, to whom we do homage, although we 
have no space even to mention their names, 

A Gallery of Revivalist Portraits. 179 

their strength arose from the certainty and the 
confidence with which they spoke ; there was 
nothing tentative about their teaching. That 
great scholar, Sir William Hamilton, says that 
" assurance is the punctum s aliens, that is the 
strong point of Luther's system;" so it was with 
all these men, "We speak that we do know, 
and testify that we have seen ;" it was the full 
assurance of knowledge ; and it gave them au- 
thority over the men with whom they wrestled, 
whether in public or private. Whitefield and 
Wesley alike, and all their followers, had strong 
faith in God. They were believers in the per- 
sonal regard of God for the souls of men ; and 
every idea of prayer supposes some such per- 
sonal regard, whether offered by the highest of 
high Calvinists, or the simplest primitive Meth- 
odist; the whole spirit of the Revival turned on 
this ; these men, as they strongly believed, 
were able, by the strong attractive force of their 
own nature, to compel other minds to their 
convictions. Their history strongly illustrates 
that that teaching which oscillates to and fro 
in a pendulous uncertainty is powerless to re- 
form character or influence mind. 

180 The Great Revival. 



THE preceding chapters have shown that the 
Great Revival was creating over the wild moral 
wastes of England a pure and spiritual atmo- 
sphere, and its movements and organisations 
were taking root in every direction. Voltaire, 
and that pedantic cluster of conceited infidels, 
the Bolingbrokes, Middletons, and • Mande- 
villes, Chubbs, Woolstons, and Collinses, who 
prophesied that Christian faith was fast vanish- 
ing from the earth, were slightly premature. It 
is, indeed, interesting to notice the contrast in 
this period between England and the then most 
unhappy sister-kingdom of France : there, in- 
deed, Christian faith did seem to be trodden 
underfoot of men. While a great silent, hal- 
lowed revolution was going on in one, all 
things were preparing for a tremendous revolu- 
tion in the other. It was just about the time 
that the Revival was leavening English society 
that Lord Chesterfield summed up what he had 
noticed in France, in the following words: " In 
short, all the symptoms which I have ever met 

Blossoms in the Wilderness. 181 

with in history previous to great changes and 
revolutions in government, now exist and daily 
increase in France." The words were spoken 
several years before that terrible Revolution 
came, which conducted the King, the Queen, 
and almost all the aristocracy, respectability, 
and lingering piety of the nation to the scaf- 
fold. It was a wonderful compensation. A few 
years before, a sovereign had cast away from 
his nation, and from around his throne, all the 
social elements which could guard and give 
dignity to it; how natural, then, that the whole 
canaille of the kingdom should rush upon the 
throne of his successor, and cast it and its occu- 
pant into the bonfire of the Reign of Terror ! 

In Britain, from some cause, all was different. 
This period of the Revival has been truly called 
the starting-point of the modern religious his- 
tory of that land ; and, somehow, all things 
were singularly combining to give to the nation 
a new-born happiness, to create new facilities 
for mental growth and culture, and to enlarge 
and to fill their cup of national joy. It will be 
noticed that these things did not descend to 
the nation generally from the highest places of 
the land. With the exception of the sovereign, 
we cannot see many instances of a lively inter- 
est in the moral well-being of the people. 
Other exceptions there were, but they were 

1 82 The Great Revival. 

very few. From the people themselves, and 
from the causes we have described, originated 
and spread those means which, amidst the wild 
agitations of revolution, as they came foaming 
over the Channel, and which were rather aided 
than repressed by the unwisdom of many of 
the governments and magistrates, calmed and 
enlightened the public mind, and secured the 
order of society, and the stability of the throne. 
The historians of Wesleyanism — we will say 
it respectfully, but still very firmly — have been 
too uniformly disposed to see in their own so- 
ciety the centre and the spring of all those 
amazing means of social regeneration to which 
the period of the Revival gave birth. Dr. Abel 
Stevens specially seems to regard Methodism 
and Wesleyanism as conterminous. It would 
seem from him that the work of the printing- 
office, the book or the tract society, schools 
and missions, and the various means of social 
amelioration or redemption, all have their 
origin in Wesleyanism. We may give the 
largest honour to the venerable name of Wes- 
ley, and accept this history by Dr. Stevens as 
the best, yet as an American he did not fully 
know what had been done by others not in the 
Connexion. There was an immense field of 
Methodism which did not fall beneath the do- 
minion of Wesley, and had no relation to the 

Blossoms in the Wilderness. 183 

Wesleyan Conference. The same spirit touched 
simultaneously many minds, quite separated by 
ecclesiastical and social relations, but all 
wrought up to the same end. These pages 
have been greatly devoted to reminiscences of 
the great preachers, and illustrations of the 
preaching power of the Revival, but our read- 
ers know that the Revival did not end in 
preaching. These voices stirred the slumber- 
ing mind of the nation like a thunder-peal, but 
they roused to work and practical effort. The 
great characteristic of all that came out of the 
movement may be summed up in the often- 
quoted expression, " A single eye to the glory 
of God." As one of the clergymen of York- 
shire, earnest and active in those times, was 
wont to say, "I do love those one-eyed Chris- 

We shall have occasion to mention the name 
of Robert Raikes, and that name reminds us not 
only of Gloucester, but of Gloucestershire; many 
circumstances gave to that most charming coun- 
ty a conspicuous place. Lying in the immediate 
neighbourhood of Bath, it attracted the atten- 
tion of the Countess of Huntingdon. " As sure 
as God is in Gloucestershire," was an old proverb, 
first used in monastic days, then applied to the 
Reformation time, when Tyndale, the first 
translator of the English New Testament, had 

184 The Great Revival. 

his home in the lovely village of North Nibley; 
but it became yet more true when Whiteneld 
preached to the immense concourses on Stinch- 
combe Hill; when Rodborough and Ebley, and 
the valley of the Stroud Water were lit up with 
Revival beacons, and when Rowland Hill 
established his vicarage at Wotton-under- 
Edge; then, in its immediate neighbourhood, 
arose that beautiful Christian worker, the close 
friend of George Whitefield, Cornelius Winter; 
and from his labours came forth his most 
eminent pupil, and great preacher, William 

And the Revival took effect on distinct circles 
which certainly seemed outside of the Methodist 
movement, but which yet, assuredly, belonged 
to it ; the Clapham Sect, for instance. " The 
Clapham Sect" is a designation originating in 
the facetious and satiric brain of Sydney Smith, 
than whom the Revival never had a more 
unjust, ungenerous, or ungracious critic; but the 
pages of the Edinburgh Review, in which the 
flippant sting of speech first appeared, years 
afterwards consecrated the term and made it 
historical in the elegant essay of Sir James 
Stephen. By his pen the sect, with all its 
leaders, acts, and consequences, are pleasantly 
described in the Essays on Ecclesiastical 
Biography ; and surely this was as much the 

Blossoms in the Wilderness. 185 

result of the Great Revival as the " evangelical 
succession" which calls forth the exercise in 
previous pages of the same interesting pen; it 
was all a natural evangelical succession, that of 
which we have spoken before, as enthusiasm 
for humanity growing out of enthusiasm for 
Divine truth. Men who have become fairly- 
impressed by a sense of their own immortality 
and its redemption in Christ, become interested 
in the temporal well-being and the eternal 
welfare of others. It has always been so, and 
is so still, that men who have not a sense of 
man's immortal welfare have usually cared but 
little about his temporal interests. Hospitals 
and churches, orphanages and missionary 
societies, usually grow out of the same spiritual 

We scarcely need ask our readers to accom- 
pany us to the pleasant little village of Clap- 
ham, and its sweet sequestered Common, then 
so far removed from the great metropolis^ 
surrounded by the homes of wealthy men, 
merchants, statesmen, eminent preachers, all 
of them infected with the spirit of the Revival, 
and all of them noteworthy in the story of those 
means which were to shiver the chains of the 
slave, to carry light to dark heathen minds, 
and to hand out the Bible to English villages 
and far-off nations. We have been desirous of 

1 86 The Great Revival. 

conveying the impression that those were times 
of a singular and almost simultaneous spiritual 
upheaval; it was as if, in different regions of the 
great lake of humanity, submerged islands sud- 
denly appeared from beneath the waves; and it 
is not too much to say that all those various 
means which have so tended to beautify and 
bless the world, schemes of education, schemes 
for the improvement of prison discipline, 
schemes of missionary enterprise for the exten- 
sion of Christian influence in the East Indies, 
the destruction of slavery in the West Indies, 
and the abolition of the slave trade throughout 
the British Empire; Bible societies and Tract 
societies, and, in fact, the whole munificent 
machinery and organisation of our day, sprang 
forth from that revival of the last century. It 
seems now like a magnificent burst of enthu- 
siasm ; yet, ultimately it was based upon only 
two or three great elements of faith : the 
spiritual world was an intense reality ; the soul 
of every man, woman, and child on the face of 
the earth had an endowment of immortality; 
they were precious to the Redeemer, they 
ought, therefore, to be precious to all the fol- 
lowers of the Redeemer. Charged with these 
truths, their spirits inflamed to a holy enthu- 
siasm by them, from parlours and drawing- 
rooms, from the lowly homes and cottages of 

n (Ureal gebibal. 

John Thoruton. 

p. 188. 

Blossoms in the Wilderness. 189 

England, all these new professors appeared to 
be in search of occasions for doing good; the 
schemes worked themselves through all the 
varieties of human temperament and imperfec- 
tion; but, looking back, it must surely be 
admitted that they achieved glorious results. 

If the reader, impressed by veneration, should 
make a pilgrimage to Clapham Common, and 
inquire from some one of the oldest inhabitants 
which was the house in which John Shore, the 
great Lord Teignmouth, the first President of 
the Bible Society, lived, his soul within him 
might be a little vexed to be informed that 
yonder large building at the extreme corner of 
the common, the great Roman Catholic Re- 
demptionist College, is the house. There, were 
canvassed and brooded over a number of the 
schemes to which we have referred. Thither 
from his own house, close to the well-known 
" Plough" — its site now covered by suburban 
shops — went the great Zachary Macaulay, 
sometimes accompanied by his son, a bright, 
intelligent lad, afterwards known as Thomas 
Babington Macaulay. John Shore had been 
Governor of India, at Calcutta. On the com- 
mon resided also, for some time, William Wil- 
berforce. These were the great statesmen who 
were desirous of organising great plans, from 
which the consummating prayer of David in the 

190 The Great Revival. 

72nd Psalm should be realised. Then there 
was another house on the common, the mansion 
of John Thornton, which seemed to share with 
that of Lord Teignmouth the honours of these 
Divine committees of ways and means. Before 
the establishment of the Bible Society, Mr. 
Thornton had been in the habit of spending 
two thousand pounds a year in the distribution 
of Bibles and Testaments — a very Bible Society 
in himself. It is, perhaps, not too much to say, 
there was scarcely a thought which had for its 
object the well-being of the human family but 
it found its representation and discussion in 
those palatial abodes on Clapham Common. 
There were Granville Sharp and Thomas 
Clarkson; thither, how often went cheery old 
John Newton, to whom, first of all, on arriving 
in London, went every holy wayfarer from the 
provinces, wayfarers who soon found their 
entrance beneath his protecting wing, and 
cheery introduction to these pleasant circles. 
Beneath the incentives of his animating words, 
the fervid earnestness of Claudius Buchanan 
found its pathway of power, and The Star of the 
East — his great sermon on " Missions to 
India," — was first seen shining over Clapham 
Common; and it was the same genial tongue 
which encouraged that fine, but almost forgot- 
ten man, John Campbell, in the enterprise of 

Blossoms in the Wilderness. 191 

his spirit, to pierce into the deserts of Africa. 
We may notice how great ideas perpetuate 
themselves into generations, when we remem- 
ber that it was John Campbell who first took 
out Robert Moffat, and settled him down in the 
field of his wonderful labours. 

Sir James Stephen, in his admirable paper, is 
far from exhausting all the memories of that 
Clapham Sect. There was another house, not 
in Clapham, but not far removed — Hatcham 
House, as we remember it — a noble mansion, 
standing in its park, opposite where the old 
lane turned off from the main road to Peckham. 
There lived Joseph Hardcastle — certainly one 
of the Clapham Sect — Wilberforce's close and 
intimate friend, a munificent merchant prince, 
in whose offices in the City were held for a long 
time all the earliest committee meetings of the 
Bible Society, the Religious Tract Society, and 
the London Missionary Society, and from whom 
appear to have emanated the first suggestions 
for the limitation of the powers of the East In- 
dia Company in supporting and sanctioning, by 
the English Government, Hindoo infanticide 
and idolatry. Among all the glorious names 
of the Clapham Sect, not one shines out more 
beautifully than that of this noble Christian 

Perhaps a natural delicacy withheld Sir James 

192. The Great Revival, 

Stephen from chronicling the story of his own 
father, Sir George Stephen ; and there was 
Thomas Gisborne, most charming of English 
preachers of the Church of England evangeli- 
cal school ; and Sir Robert Grant, whose hymns 
are still among the sweetest in our national 
psalmody. But we can do no more than thus 
say that it was from hence that the spirit of the 
Revival rose in new strength, and taking to it- 
self the wings of the morning, spread to the ut- 
termost parts of the earth. 

The Revival becomes Educational, 193 



In the year 1880 was celebrated in England 
and America the centenary of Sunday-schools. 
The life and labours of Robert Raikes, whose 
name has long been familiar as "a household 
word " in connection with such institutions, 
were reviewed, and fresh interest added to that 
early work for the young. 

Gloucestershire, if not one of the largest, is 
certainly one of the fairest- — as, indeed, its name 
is said to imply : from Gldw, an old British 
word signifying "fair" — it is one of the fairest, 
and it ought to be one of the most famous, 
counties of England. Many are its distinguished 
worthies : John de Trevisa was Vicar of Berke- 
ley, in Gloucestershire, and a contemporary 
with John Wyclif, and, like him, he had a strong 
aversion to the practices of the Church of Rome, 
and an earnest desire to make the Scriptures 
known to his parishioners ; and in Nibley, in 
Gloucestershire, was born, and lived, William 
Tyndale, in whose noble heart the great idea 

194 The Great Revival. 

sprang up that Christian Englishmen should 
read the New Testament in their own mother- 
tongue, and who said to a celebrated priest, 


" If God spares my life, I will take care that a 
plough-boy shall know more of the Scriptures 
than you do." The story of the great transla- 

The Revival becomes Educational. 195 

tor and martyr is most interesting. Glouces- 
tershire has been famous, too, for its contribu- 
tions to the noble army of martyrs, notably, not 
only James Baynham, but, in Gloucester, its 
bishop, John Hooper, was in 1555 burnt to 
death. In Berkeley the very distinguished 
physician, and first promulgator of the doctrine 
of vaccination, Dr. Edward Jenner, the son of 
the vicar, was born ; and from the Old Bell, in 
Gloucester, went forth the wonderful preacher 
George Whitefield, to arouse the sleeping 
Church in England and America from its leth- 
argy. The quaint old proverb to which we 
have already alluded — "As sure as God is in 
Gloucestershire " — was very complimentary, but 
not very correct ; it arose from the amazing 
ecclesiastical wealth of the county, which was 
so rich that it attracted the notice of the papal 
court, and four Italian bishops held it in suc- 
cession for fifty years ; one of these, Giulio de 
Medici, became Pope Clement VII., succeeding 
Pope Leo X. in the papacy in 1523. This emi- 
nent ecclesiastical fame no doubt originated 
the proverb ; but it acquired a tone of reality 
and truth rather from the martyrdom of its 
bishop than from the elevation of his predeces- 
sor to the papal tiara ; rather from Tyndale, 
William Sarton, and his brother weaver-mar- 
tyrs, than from its costly and magnificent en- 

196 The Great Revival. 

dowments ; from Whitefield and Jenner rather 
than from its crowd of priests and friars. 

Thus Gloucestershire has certainly consider- 
able eminence among English counties. To 
other distinguished names must be added that 
of Robert Raikes, who must ever be regarded 
as the founder of Sabbath-schools. It is not 
intended by this that there had never been any 
attempts made to gather the children on the 
Sabbath for some kind of religious instruction 
— although such attempts were very few, and a 
diligent search has probably brought them 
all [?] under our knowledge ; but the example 
and the influence of Raikes gave to the idea the 
character of a movement ; it stirred the whole 
country, from the throne itself, the King and 
Queen, the bishops, and the clergy ; all classes 
of ministers and laymen became interested in 
what was evidently an easy and happy method 
of seizing upon the multitudes of lost children 
who in that day were " perishing for lack of 

Mr. Joseph Stratford, in his Biographical 
Sketches of the Great and Good Men in Glou- 
cestershire, and Mr. Alfred Gregory, in his Life 
of Robert Raikes — to which works we must 
confess our obligation for much of the informa- 
tion contained in this chapter — have both done 
honour to the several humbler and more obscure 

The Revival becomes Educational. 197 

labourers whose hearts were moved to attempt 
the work to which Raikes gave a national im- 
portance, and which from his hands, and from 
his time, became henceforth a perpetual insti- 
tution in the Church work of every denomina- 
tion of Christian believers and labourers. The 
Rev. Joseph Alleine, the author of The Alarm 
to the Unconverted, an eminent Nonconformist 
minister of Taunton, adopted the plan of 
gathering the young people together for in- 
struction on the Lord's day. Even in Glou- 
cestershire, before Raikes was born, in the village 
of Flaxley, on the borders of the Forest of 
Dean — Flaxley, of which the poet Bloomfield 
sings : 

" 'Mid depths of shade gay sunbeams broke 
Through noble Flaxley's bowers of oak ; 
Where many a cottage, trim and gay, 
Whispered delight through all the way:" 

in the old Cistercian Abbey, Mrs. Catharine 
Boevey, the lady of the abbey, had one of the 
earliest and pleasantest Sabbath-schools. Her 
monument in Flaxley Church, erected after 
her death in 1726, records her " clothing and 
feeding her indigent neighbours, and teaching 
their children, some of whom she entertained 
at her house, and examined them herself." Six 
of the poor children, it is elsewhere stated, 
" by turns dined at her residence on Sundays, 

198 The Great Revival. 

and were afterwards heard say the Cate- 

We read of a humbler labourer, realising, 
perhaps, more the idea of a Sabbath-school 
teacher, in Bolton, in Lancashire, James Hey, 
or " Old Jemmy o' th' Hey." Old Jemmy, Mr. 
Gregory tells us, employed the working days 
of the week in winding bobbins for weavers, 
and on Sundays he taught the boys and girls 
of the neighbourhood to read. His school 
assembled twice each Sunday, in the cottage of 
a neighbour, and the time of commencing was 
announced, not by the ringing of a bell, but by 
an excellent substitute, an old brass pestle and 
mortar. After a while, Mr. Adam Compton, a 
paper manufacturer in the neighbourhood, 
began to supply Jemmy with books, and sub- 
scriptions in money were given him ; he was 
thus enabled to form three branch establish- 
ments, the teachers of which were paid one 
shilling each Sunday for their services. Be- 
sides these there are several other instances: in 
1763 the Rev. Theophilus Lindsey established 
something like a Sunday-school at Catterick, in 
Yorkshire; at High Wycombe, in 1769, Miss 
Hannah Ball, a young Methodist lady, formed 
a Sunday-school in her town ; and at Maccles- 
field that admirable and excellent man, the 
Rev. David Simpson, originated a similar plan 

The Revival becomes Educational. 199 

of usefulness; and, contemporary with Mr. 
Raikes, in the old Whitefield Tabernacle, at 
Dursley, in Gloucestershire, we find Mr. William 
King, a woollen card-maker, attempting the 
work of teaching on a Sunday, and coming into 
Gloucester to take counsel with Mr. Raikes as 
to the best way of carrying it forward. Such, 
scattered over the face of the country, at great 
distances, and in no way representing a general 
plan of useful labour, were the hints and efforts 
before the idea took what may be called an 
apostolic shape in the person of Robert Raikes. 
Notwithstanding the instances we have 
given, Mr. Raikes must really be regarded 
as the founder of Sunday-schools as an extend- 
ed organisation. With him they became more 
than a notion, or a mere piece of local effort ; 
and his position and profession, and the high 
respect in which he was held in the city in 
which he lived, all alike enabled him to give 
publicity to the plan: and before he commenced 
this movement, he was known as a philan- 
thropist; indeed, John Howard himself bears 
something like the same relation to prison 
philanthropy which Raikes bears to Sunday- 
schools. No one doubts that Howard was the 
great apostle of prisons; but it seems that be- 
fore he commenced his great prison crusade, 
Raikes had laboured diligently to reform the 

200 The Great Revival. 

Gloucester gaol. The condition of the prison- 
ers was most pitiable, and Raikes, nearly 
twenty years before he commenced the Sun- 
day-school system, had been working among 
them, attempting their material, moral, and 
spiritual improvement, by which he had earned 
for himself the designation of the "Teacher of 
the Poor." Howard visited Raikes in Glouces- 
ter,- and bears his testimony to the blessedness 
and benevolence of his labours in the prison 
there; and the gaol appears not unnaturally to 
have suggested the idea of the Sunday-school 
to the benevolent-hearted man. It was a 
dreadful state of society. Some idea may be 
formed of it from a paragraph in the Gloucester 
Journal for June, 1783, the paper of which 
Raikes was the editor and proprietor: it is men- 
tioned that no less than sixty-six persons were 
committed to the Castle in one week, and Mr. 
Raikes adds, " The prison is already so full 
that all the gaoler's stock of fetters is occupied, 
and the smiths are hard at work casting new 
ones." He goes on to say: "The people sent 
in are neither disappointed soldiers nor sailors, 
but chiefly frequenters of ale-houses and skittle- 
alleys. Then, in another paragraph, he goes 
on to remark, " The ships about to sail for 
Botany Bay will carry about one thousand 
miserable creatures, who might have lived per- 

The Revival becomes Educational. 201 

fectly happy in this country had they been early 
taught good principles, and to avoid the dan- 
ger of associating with those who make sobrie- 
ty and industry the objects of their ridicule." 

From sentences like these it* is easy to see the 
direction in which the mind of the good man 
was moving, before he commenced the work 
which has given such a happy and abiding per- 
petuity to his name. He gathered the chil- 
dren; the streets were full of noise and disturb- 
ances every Sunday. In a little while, says the 
Rev. Dr. Glass, Mr. Raikes found himself sur- 
rounded by such a set of little ragamuffins as 
would have disgusted other men less zealous to 
do good, and less earnest to disseminate com- 
fort, exhortation, and benefit to all around him, 
than the founder of Sunday-schools. He pre- 
vented their running about in wild disorder 
through the streets. By and by, he arranged 
that a number of them should meet him at 
seven o'clock on the Sunday morning in the 
cathedral close, when he and they all went 
into the cathedral together to an early service. 
The increase of the numbers was rapid ; Mr. 
Raikes was looked up to as the commander-in- 
chief of this ragged regiment. It is testified 
that a change took place and passed over the 
streets of the old Gloucester city on the Sun- 
day. A glance at the features of Mr. Raikes 

202 The Great Revival. 

will assure the reader that he was an amiable 
and gentle man, but that by no means implies 
always a weak one. He appears to have had 
plenty of strength, self-possession, and knowl- 
edge of the world. He also belonged to, and 
moved in, good society; and this is not without 
its influence. As he told the King, in the 
course of a long interview, when the King and 
Queen sent for him to Windsor, to talk over 
his system with him, in order that they might, 
in some sense, be his disciples, and adopt and 
recommend his plan : it was " botanising in 
human nature." " All that I require," said 
Raikes, to the parents of the children, "are 
clean hands, clean faces, and their hair 
combed." To many who were barefooted, 
after they had shown some regularity of attend- 
ance, he gave shoes, and others he clothed. 
Yes, it was "botanising in human nature;" and 
very many anecdotes show what flowers sprang 
up out of the black soil in the path of the good 

All the stories told of Raikes show that the 
law of kindness was usually on his lips. A 
sulky, stubborn girl had resisted all reproofs 
and correction, and had refused to ask forgive- 
ness of her mother. In the presence of the 
mother, Raikes said to the girl, "Well, if you 
have no regard for yourself, I have much for 

The Revival becomes Educational. 203 

you. You will be ruined and lost if you do not 
become a good girl; and if you will not humble 
yourself, I must humble myself on your behalf, 
and make a beginning for you;" and then, with 
great solemnity, he entreated the mother to 
forgive the girl, using such words that he over- 
came the girl's pride. The stubborn creature 
actually fell on her knees, and begged her 
mother's forgiveness, and never gave Mr. 
Raikes or her mother trouble afterwards. It is 
a very simple anecdote; but it shows the Divine 
spirit in the method of the man ; and the more 
closely we come into a personal knowledge of 
his character, the more admirable and lovable 
it seems. Thus literally true and beautiful are 
the words of the hymn : 

"Like a lone husbandman, forlorn, 
The man of Gloucester went, 
Bearing his seeds of precious corn ; 
And God the blessing sent. 

Now, watered long by faith and prayer, 

From year to year it grows, 
Till heath, and hill, and desert bare, 

Do blossom as the rose." 

Mr. Raikes was a Churchman ; he was so 
happy as to have, near to his own parish of St. 
Mary-le-Crypt, in Gloucester, an intimate 
friend, the Rector of St. Aldate's — a neigh- 
bouring parish in the same city — the Rev. 

204 The Great Revival. 

Thomas Stock, whose monument in the 
church truly testifies that " to him, in conjunc- 
tion with Robert Raikes, Esquire, is justly at- 
tributed the honour of having planned and insti- 
tuted the first Sunday-school in the kingdom." 
Mr. Stock was but a young man in 1780, for he 
died in 1803, then only fifty-four years of age; 
he must have been, at the time of the first in- 
stitution of Sunday-schools, a young man of 
fine and tender instincts. He appears, simul- 
taneously with Mr. Raikes's movement, to have 
formed a Sunday-school in his own parish, 
taking upon himself the superintendence of it, 
and the responsibility of such expenses as it in- 
volved. But Mr. Stock says, in a letter written 
in 1788, " The progress of the institution 
through the kingdom is justly attributed to the 
constant representations which Mr. Raikes 
made in his own paper of the benefits which he 
saw would probably arise from it." At the time 
Mr. Raikes began the work, he was about 
forty-four years of age; it was a great thing in 
that day to possess a respectable journal, a 
newspaper of acknowledged character and in- 
fluence; to this, very likely, we owe it, in some 
considerable measure, that the work in Glouces- 
ter became extensively known and spread, and 
expanded into a great movement. But he does 
not appear to have used the columns of his 

<£be 6rrat §Ubibal. 

Robert Raikes. 

p. 205. 

The Revival becomes Educational. 207 

newspaper for the purpose of calling attention 
to the usefulness and desirability of the work 
until after it had been in operation about three 
years ; in 1783 and 1784, very modestly he 
commends the system to general adoption. 

It is remarkable that in the course of two or 
three years, several bishops — the Bishop of 
Gloucester, in the cathedral, the Bishops of 
Chester and Salisbury, in their charges to the 
clergy of their dioceses — strongly commended 
the plan. All orders of mind poured around 
the movement their commendation; even Adam 
Smith, whom no one will think likely to have 
fallen into exaggerated expressions where 
Christian activity is concerned, said, " No plan 
has promised to effect a change of manners with 
equal ease and simplicity, since the days of the 
apostles." The poet Cowper declared that he 
knew of no nobler means by which a reforma- 
tion of the lower classes could be effected. 
Some attempts have been made to claim for 
John Wesley the honour of inaugurating the 
Sunday-school system; considering the in- 
tensely practical character of that venerated 
man, and how much he was in advance of his 
times in most of his activities, it is a wonder 
that he did not; but his venerable memory has 
honours, certainly, in all sufficiency. He wrote 
his first commendation of Sunday-schools in 

208 The Great Revival. 

the Arminian Magazine of 1784. He says, 
" I find these schools spring up wherever I 
go ; perhaps God may have a deeper end 
therein than men are aware of; who knows but 
that some of these schools may become nurseries 
for Christians ?" Prophetic as these words are, 
this is fainter and tardier praise than we should 
have expected from him ; but in 1787 he writes 
more warmly, expresses his belief that these 
schools will be one great means of reviving 
religion throughout the kingdom, and expresses 
" wonder that Satan has not sent out some able 
champion against them." In 1788 he says : "I 
verily think that these schools are one of the 
noblest specimens of charity which have been 
set on foot in England since the days of William 
the Conqueror." 

Some estimate may be formed of the rapidity 
with which the movement spread, when we 
find that in this year, 1787, the number of 
children taught in Sunday-schools in Man- 
chester alone, on the testimony of the very 
eminent John Nichols, the great printer and 
anecdotist, was no fewer than five thousand. 
It was in this year also, 1787, that Mr. Raikes 
was visiting some relatives in the neighbour- 
hood of Windsor. He must have attained to 
the dignity of a celebrity ; nor is this wonder- 
ful, when we remember the universal acceptance 

The Revival becomes Educational. 209 

with which his great idea of Sunday-schools 
had been honoured. The Queen invited him to 
visit her, and inquired of him, he says, " by 
what accident a thought which promised so 
much benefit to the lower order of people as 
the institution of Sunday-schools, was suggested 
to his mind ?" The visit was a long one ; he 
spent two hours with the Queen — the King 
also, we believe, being present most of the 
time — not so much in expounding the system, 
for that was simple enough, but they were 
curious as to what he had observed in the 
change and improvement of the characters 
among whom he worked ; and we believe that 
it was then he told the King, in the words we 
have already quoted, that he regarded his work 
as a kind of " botanising in human nature;" this 
was a favourite phrase of his in describing the 
work. The result of this visit was, that the 
Queen established a Sunday-school in Windsor, 
and also a school of industry at Brentford, 
which the King and Queen occasionally visited. 
It may be taken as an illustration of the native 
modesty of Mr. Raikes's own character that he 
never referred in his paper to this distinguished 
notice of royalty. 

Do our readers know anything of Mrs. Sarah 
Trimmer ? A hundred years ago, there was, 
probably, not a better-known woman in Eng- 

2io The Great Revival. 

land; and although her works have long ceased 
to exercise any influence, we suppose none, in 
her time, were more eminently useful. Pious, 
devoted, earnestly evangelical, if we speak of 
her as a kind of lesser Hannah More, the remark 
must apply to her intellectual character rather 
than to her reputation or her usefulness. Al- 
most as soon as the Sunday-school idea was 
announced, she stepped forward as its most able 
and intrepid advocate ; her Ecoitomy of Charity 
exercised a large influence, and she published a 
number of books, which, at that time, were ad- 
mirably suited to the level of the capacity 
which the Sunday-school teacher desired to 
reach; she was also a great favourite with the 
King and Queen, and appears to have visited 
them on the easy terms of friendship. The in- 
tense interest she felt in Sunday-schools is 
manifest in innumerable pages of the two vol- 
umes which record her life ; certainly, she was 
often at the ear of the royal pair, to whisper 
any good and pleasant thing connected with the 
progress of her favourite thought. She repeat- 
edly expresses her obligation to Mr. Raikes ; 
but her biographer only expresses the simple 
truth when he says: "To Mr. Raikes, of 
Gloucester, the nation is, in the first place, in- 
debted for the happy idea of collecting the 
children of the poor together on the Sabbath, 

The Revival becomes Educational. 211 

and giving them instruction suited to the sa- 
credness of the day ; but, perhaps, no publica- 
tion on this subject was of more utility than the 
Economy of Charity. The influence of the 
work was very visible when it first made its ap- 
pearance, and proved a source of unspeakable 
gratification to the author," 

It is not consistent with the aim of this book 
to enter at greater length into the life of Robert 
Raikes ; we have said sufficient to show that 
the term which has been applied to him of 
"founder of Sunday-schools," is not misapplied. 
He was a simple and good man, on whose heart, 
as into a fruitful soil, an idea fell, and it be- 
came a realised conviction. Look at his por- 
trait, and instantly there comes to your mind 
Cowper's well-known description of one of his 

" An honest man, close -buttoned to the chin, 
Broadcloth without, and a warm heart within." 


No words can better describe him — not a tint 
of fanaticism seems to shade his character ; he 
had a warm enthusiasm for ends and aims 
which commended themselves to his judgment. 
It is pleasant to know that, as he lived when 
the agitation for the abolition of the slave trade 
was commencing, he gave to the movement his 
hearty blessings and best wishes. At sixty- 

212 The Great Revival. 

seven years of age he retired from business ; no 
doubt a very well-to-do man, for he was the 
owner of two freehold estates near Gloucester, 
and he received an annuity of three hundred 
pounds from the Gloucester Journal. He died 
at his house in Bell Lane, in the city of Glou- 
cester, where he had taken up his residence 
when he retired from active life ; he died sud- 
denly, in his seventy-sixth year, in 1811. Then 
the family vault in St. Mary-le-Crypt, which 
sixty years before had received his father's 
ashes, received the body of the gentle philan- 
thropist. He had kept up his Sunday-school 
work and interest to the close; and he left in- 
structions that his Sunday-school children 
should be invited to follow him to the grave, 
and that each of them should receive a shilling 
and a plum cake. On the tablet over the place 
where he sleeps an appropriate verse of Scrip- 
ture well describes him : " When the ear heard 
me, then it blessed me ; and when the eye saw 
me, it gave witness to me : because I delivered 
the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and 
him that had none to help him. The blessing 
of him that was ready to perish came upon 
me : and I caused the widow's heart to sing for 

It seems very questionable whether the 
slightest shade can cross the memory of this 

The Revival becomes Educational. 213 

plain, simply useful, and unostentatious man. 
And it ought to be said that Anne Raikes, who 
rests in the same grave, appears to have been 
every way the worthy companion of her hus- 
band. She was the daughter of Thomas Trigg, 
Esq., of Newnham, in Gloucestershire ; the 
sister of Sir Thomas Trigg and Admiral John 


Trigg. They were married in 1767. She shared 
in all her husband's large and charitable inten- 
tions, and when he died he left the whole of his 
property to her. She survived him seventeen 
years, and died in 1828, at the age of eighty- 

The visitor to Gloucester will be surely struck 

214 The Great Revival. 

by a quaint old house in Southgate Street — 
still standing almost unaltered, save that the 
basement is now divided into two shops. A 
few years since the old oak timbers were 
braced, stained, and varnished. It is a fine 
specimen of the better class of English resi- 
dences of a hundred and fifty years since, and is 
still remarkable in the old city, owing very 
much to the good taste which governed their 
renovation. This was the printing-office of 
Robert Raikes, a notice in the Gloucester 
Journal, dated August 19, 1758, announcing his 
removal from Blackfriars Square to this house in 
Southgate Street. The house now is in the 
occupation of Mrs. Watson. The house where 
Raikes lived and died is nearly opposite. It 
will not be difficult for the spectator to realise 
the pleasant image of the old gentleman, 
dressed, after the fashion of the day, in his blue 
coat with gold buttons, buff waistcoat, drab 
kerseymere breeches, white stockings, and low 
shoes, passing beneath those ancient gables, 
and engaged in those various public and private 
duties which we have attempted to record. A 
century has passed away since then, and the 
simple lessons the philanthropist attempted to 
impart to the young waifs and strays he gath- 
ered about him have expanded into more com- 
prehensive departments of knowledge. The 

The Revival becomes Educational. 215 

originator of Sunday-schools would be aston- 
ished were he to step into almost any of those 
which have branched out from his leading idea. 
It is still expanding; it is one of the most real 
and intense activities of the Universal Church; 
but among the immense crowds of those who, 
in England and America, are conducting Sun- 
day-school classes, it is, perhaps, not too much 
to say, that in not one is there a more simple 
and earnest desire to do good than that which 
illuminated the life, and lends a sweet and 
charming interest to the memory, of Robert 

2i6 The Great Revival. 



Dr. Abel Stevens, in his History of Meth- 
odism, says, "I congratulate myself on the 
opportunity of reviving the memory of Silas 
Told ;" and speaks of the little biography in 
which Silas himself records his adventures as 
" a record told with frank and affecting simplic- 
ity, in a style of terse and flowing English De- 
foe might have envied." 

Such a testimony is well calculated to excite 
the curiosity of an interested reader, especially 
as the two or three incidents mentioned only 
serve to whet the appetite for more of the like 
description. The little volume to which he re- 
fers has been for some years in the possession 
of the author of this volume. It is indeed an 
astonishing book; its alleged likeness to Defoe's 
charmingly various style of recital of adven- 
tures by sea and by land is no exaggeration, 
whilst as a piece of real biography it may 
claim, and quite sustain, a place side by side 
with the romantic and adventurous career of 
John Newton ; but the wild wonderfulness of 

Story of Silas Told. 217 

the story of Silas seems to leave Newton's in 
the shade. Like Newton, Told was also a seer 
of visions and a dreamer of dreams, and a be- 
liever in special providences; and well might he 
believe in such who was led certainly along as 
singular a path as any mortal could tread. The 
only other memorial besides his own which has, 
we believe, been penned of him — a brief recapit- 
ulation — well describes him as honest, simple, 
and tender. Silas Told accompanied, in that 
awful day, numbers of persons to the gallows, 
and attempted to console sufferers and victims 
in circumstances of most harrowing and tragic 
solemnity : he certainly furnished comfortable 
help and light when no others were willing or 
able to sympathise or to help. John Wesley 
loved him, and when Silas died he buried him, 
and says of him in his Journal: " On the 20th 
of December, 1778, I buried what was mortal of 
honest Silas Told. For many years he attend- 
ed the malefactors in Newgate without fee or 
reward; and I suppose no man, for this hundred 
years, has been so successful in that melancholy 
office. God had given him peculiar talents for 
it, and he had amazing success therein ; the 
greatest part of those whom he attended died 
in peace, and many of them in the triumph of 
faith." Such was Silas Told. 

But before we come to those characteristic 

2i8 The Great Revival. 

circumstances to which Wesley refers, we must 
follow him through some of the wild scenes of 
his sailor life. He was born in Bristol in 171 1 ; his 
parents were respectable and creditable peo- 
ple, but of somewhat faded families. His grand- 
father had been an eminent physician in Bun- 
hill Row, London; his mother was from Exe- 
ter. * * * 

Silas was educated in the noble foundation 
school of Edward Colston in Bristol. The life 
of this excellent philanthropist was so remark- 
able, and in many particulars so like his own,<> 
that we cannot wonder that he stops for some 
pages in his early story to recite some of the 
remarkable phenomena in Colston's life. Silas's 
childhood was singular, and the stories he tells 
are especially noticeable, because in after-life 
the turn of his character seems to have been 
especially real and practical. Thus he tells 
how, when a child, wandering with his sister in 
the King's Wood, near Bristol, they lost their 
way, and were filled with the utmost conster- 
nation, when suddenly, although no house was 
in view, nor, as they thought, near, a dog came 
up behind them, and drove them clear out of 
the wood into a path with which they were ac- 
quainted; especially it was remarkable that the 
dog never barked at them, but when they 
looked round about for the dog" he was nowhere 

Story of Silas Told. 219 

to be seen. Careless children out for their own 
pleasure, they sauntered on their way again, 
and again lost their way in the wood — were 
again bewildered, and in greater perplexity 
than before, when, on a sudden looking up, they 
saw the same dog making towards them ; they 
ran from him in fright, but he followed them, 
drove them out of the labyrinths, and did not 
leave them until they could not possibly lose 
their way again. Simple Silas says, " I then 
turned about to look for the dog, but saw no 
more of him, although we were now upon an 
open common. This was the Lord's doings, 
and marvellous in our eyes." 

When he was twelve years of age, he appears 
to have been quite singularly influenced by the 
reading of the Pilgrim s Progress ; and late in 
life, when writing his biography, he briefly, but 
significantly, attempts to reproduce the intense 
enjoyment he received — the book evidently 
caught and coloured his whole imagination. At 
this time, too, he was very nearly drowned, 
and while drowning, so far from having any 
sense of terror, he had no sense nor idea of the 
things of this world, but that it appeared to 
him he rushingly emerged out of thick dark- 
ness into what appeared to him a glorious city, 
lustrous and brilliant, the light of which seemed 
to illuminate the darkness through which he 

220 The Great Revival. 

had urged his way. It was as if the city had a 
floor like glass, and yet he was sure that neither 
city nor floor had any substance ; also he saw 
people there; the inhabitants arrayed in robes 
of what seemed the finest substance, but flow- 
ing from their necks to their feet ; and yet he 
was sensible too that they had no material 
substance; they moved, but did not labour as 
in walking, but glided as if carried along by the 
wind ; and he testifies how he felt a wonderful 
joy and peace, and he never forgot the impres- 
sion through life, although soon recalled to the 
world in which he was to sorrow and suffer so 
much. It is quite easy to see John Bunyan in 
all this; but while he was thus pleasantly hap- 
py in his visionary or intro-visionary state, a 
benevolent and tender-hearted Dutchman, who 
had been among some haymakers in a field on 
the banks of the river, was striking out after 
him among the willow-bushes and sedges of 
the stream, from whence he was brought, body 
and soul, back to the world again. Such are 
the glimpses of the childhood of Silas. 

Then shortly comes a dismal transition from 
strange providences in the wood, and en- 
chanting visions beneath the waves, to the 
singularly severe sufferings of a seafaring life. 
The ships in that day have left a grim and ugly 
reputation surviving still. The term " sea- 

Story of Silas Told. 221 

devil " has often been used as descriptive of the 
masters of ships in that time. Silas seems to 
have sailed under some of the worst specimens 
of this order. About the age of fourteen he was 
bound apprentice to Captain Moses Lilly, and 
started for his first voyage from Bristol to Ja- 
maica. " Here," he says, " I may date my first 
sufferings." He says the first of his afflictions 
" was sea-sickness, which held me till my arri- 
val in Jamaica; " and considering that it was a 
voyage of fourteen weeks, it was a fair spell of 
entertainment from that pleasant companion. 
They were short of water, they were put on 
short allowance of food, and when having ob- 
tained their freight, while lying in Kingston 
harbour, their vessel, and seventy-six sail of 
ships, many of them very large, but all riding 
with three anchors ahead, were all scattered by 
an astonishing hurricane, and all the vessels in 
Port Royal shared the same fate. He tells how 
the corpses of the drowned sailors strewed the 
shores, and how, immediately after the subsi- 
dence of the hurricane, a pestilential sickness 
swept away thousands of the natives. " Every 
morning," he says, " I have observed between 
thirty and forty corpses carried past my win- 
dow; being very near death myself, I expected 
every day to approach with the messenger of 
my dissolution." 

222 The Great Revival: 

During this time he appears to have been 
lying in a warehouse, with no person to take 
care of him except a negro, who every day 
brought to him, where he was laid in his ham- 
mock, Jesuit's bark. 

" At length," he says, " my master gave me 
up, and I wandered up and down the town, 
almost parched with the insufferable blaze of 
the sun, till I resolved to lay me down and die, 
as I had neither money nor friend; accordingly, 
I fixed upon a dunghill in the east end of the 
town of Kingston, and being in such, a weak 
condition, I pondered much upon Job's case, 
and considered mine similar to that of his ; 
however, I was fully resigned to death, nor had 
I the slightest expectation of relief from any 
quarter; yet the kind providence of God was 
over me, and raised me up a friend in an entire 
stranger. A London captain coming by was 
struck with the sordid object, came up to me, 
and, in a very compassionate manner, asked 
me if I was sensible of any friend upon the island 
from whom I could obtain relief; he likewise 
asked me to whom I belonged. I answered, to 
Captain Moses Lilly, and had been cast away 
in the late hurricane. This captain appeared 
to have some knowledge of my master, and, 
cursing him for a barbarous villain, told me he 
would compel him to take proper care of me. 

Story of Silas Told. 223 

About a quarter of an hour after this, my- mas- 
ter arrived, whom I had not seen before for six 
weeks, and took me to a public-house kept by 
a Mrs. Hutchinson, and there ordered me to be 
taken proper care of. However, he soon quitted 
the island, and directed his course for England, 
leaving me behind at his sick quarters ; and, if 
it should please God to permit my recovery, I 
was commanded to take my passage to Eng- 
land in the Montserrat, Captain David Jones, a 
very fatherly, tender-hearted man : this was 
the first alleviation of my misery. Now the 
captain sent his son on shore, in order to receive 
me on board. When I came alongside, Captain 
Jones, standing on the ship's gunwale, addressed 
me after a very humane and compassionate 
manner, with expressions to the following 
effect : ' Come, poor child, into the cabin, and 
you shall want nothing that the ship affords ; 
go, and my son shall prepare for you, in the 
first place, a basin of good egg-flip, and any- 
thing else that may be conducive to your relief.' 
But I, being very bad with my fever and ague, 
could neither eat nor drink." 

A very pleasant captain, this seems, to have 
sailed with ; but poor Silas had very little of 
his company. However, the good captain and 
his boatswain put their experiences together, 
and the poor boy was restored to health, and 

224 The Great Revival. , 

after some singular adventures he reached 
Bristol. Arriving there, however, Captain 
Lilly transferred him to a Captain Timothy 
Tucker, of whom Silas bears the pleasing testi- 
mony, " A greater villain, I firmly believe, 
never existed, although at home he assumed 
the character and temper of a saint." The 
wretch actually stole a white woman from her 
own country to sell her to the black prince of 
Bonny, on the African coast. They had not 
been long at sea before this delightful person 
gave Silas a taste of his temper. Thinking the 
boy had taken too much bread from the cask, 
he went to the cabin and brought back with 
him his large horsewhip, " and exercised it," 
says Silas, " about my body in so unmerciful a 
manner, that not only the clothes on my back 
were cut to pieces, but every sailor declared 
they could see my bones; and then he threw 
me all along the deck, and jumped many times 
upon the pit of my stomach, in order to en- 
danger my life ; and had not the people laid 
hold of my two legs, and thrown me under the 
windlass, after the manner they throw dead 
cats or dogs, he w T ould have ended his despotic 
cruelty in murder." This free and easy mode 
of recreation was much indulged in by seafaring 
officers in that time, but this Tucker appears to 
have been really what Silas calls him, " a blood- 

Story of Silas Told. 225 

thirsty devil ;" and stories of murder, and the 
incredible cruelties of the slave-trade lend their 
horrible fascination to the narrative of Silas Told. 
How would it be possible to work the com- 
merce of the slave-trade without such characters 
as this Tucker, who presents much more the 
appearance of a lawless pirate than of the noble 
character we call a sailor ? 

Those readers who would like to follow poor 
Silas through the entire details of his miseries 
on ship-board, his hairbreadth escapes from 
peril and shipwreck, must read them in Silas's 
own book, if they can find it ; but we may at- 
tempt to give some little account of his wreck 
upon the American coast, in New England. 
Few stories can be more charming than the 
picture he gives of his wanderings with his 
companions after their escape from the wreck, 
not because he and they were destitute, and 
all but naked, but because of the pleasant 
glimpses we have of the simple, hospitable, 
home-life in those beautiful old New England 
days — hospitality of the most romantic and 
free-handed description. 

We will select two pictures, as illustrating 
something of the character of New England 
settlements in those very early days of their 
history. Silas and his companions were cast 
on shore, and had found refuge in a tavern 

226 The Great Revival. 

seven miles from the beach ; he had no cloth- 
ing; but the landlord of the tavern gave him a 
pair of red breeches, the last he had after sup- 
plying the rest. Silas goes on : " Ebenezer 
Allen, Governor of the island, and who dwelt 
about six miles from the tavern, hearing of our 
distress, made all possible haste to relieve us ; 
and when he arrived at the tavern, accompan- 
ied by his two eldest sons, he took Captain 
Seaborn, his black servant, Joseph and myself 
through partiality, and escorted us home to his 
own house. Between eleven and twelve at 
night we reached the Governor's mansion, all 
of us ashamed to be seen ; we would fain have 
hid ourselves in any dark hole or corner, as it 
was a truly magnificent building, with wings 
on each side thereof, but, to our astonishment, 
we were received into the great parlour, where 
were sitting by the fireside two fine, portly 
ladies, attending the spit, which was burdened 
with a very heavy quarter of house-lamb. Ob- 
serving a large mahogany table to be spread 
with a fine damask cloth, and every knife, fork, 
and plate to be laid in a genteel mode, I was 
apprehensive that it was intended for the en- 
tertainment of some persons of note or distinc- 
tion, or, at least, for a family supper. In a 
short time the joint was taken up, and laid on 
the table, yet nobody sat down to eat ; and as 

Story of Silas Told. 22/ 

we were almost hid in one corner of the room, 
the ladies turned round and said, ' Poor men, 
why don't you come to supper ?' I replied, 
' Madam, we had no idea it was prepared for 
us.' The ladies then entreated us to eat with- 
out any fear of them, assuring us that it was 
prepared for none others ; and none of us hav- 
ing eaten anything for near six and thirty 
hours before, we picked the bones of the whole 
quarter, to which we had plenty of rich old 
cider to drink : after supper we went to bed, 
and enjoyed so profound a sleep that the next 
morning it was difficult for the old gentleman 
to awake us. The following day I became the 
partaker of several second-hand garments, and, 
as I was happily possessed of a little learning, 
it caused me to be more abundantly caressed 
by the whole family, and therefore I fared 
sumptuously every day. 

" This unexpected change of circumstances 
and diet I undoubtedly experienced in a very 
uncommon manner; but as I was strictly trained 
up a Churchman, I could not support the idea 
of a Dissenter, although, God knows, I had 
well-nigh by this time dissented from all that is 
truly good. This proved a bar to my promo- 
tion, and my strong propensity to sail for Eng- 
land to see my mother prevented my acceptance 
of the greatest offer I ever received in my life 

228 The Great Revival. 

before; for when the day came that we were to 
quit the island, and to cross the sound over to 
a town called Sandwich, on the main continent, 
the young esquire took me apart from my asso- 
ciates, and earnestly entreated me to tarry with * 
them, saying that if I would accede to their 
proposals nothing should be lacking to render 
my situation equivalent to the rest of the fam- 
ily. As there were very few white men on the 
island, I was fixed upon, if willing, to espouse 
one of the Governor's daughters. I had been 
informed that the Governor was immensely rich, 
having on the island two thousand head of cat- 
tle and twenty thousand sheep, and every acre 
of land thereon belonging to himself. However, 
I could not be prevailed upon to accept the 
offer; therefore the Governor furnished us with 
forty shillings each, and gave us a pass over to 
the town of Sandwich." 

Such passages as this show the severe experi- 
ences through which Silas passed; they illus- 
trate the education he was receiving for that 
life of singular earnestness and tenderness which 
was to close and crown his career; but we have 
made the extract here for the purpose of giving 
some idea of that cheerful, hospitable, home 
life of New England in those then almost wild 
regions which are now covered with the popu- 
lation of towns. 

Story of Silas Told. 229 

Here is another instance, which occurred at' 
Hanover, in the United States, through which 
district Silas and his companions appear to have 
been wending their way, seeking a return to 
England. " One Sunday, as my companions 
and self were crossing the churchyard at the 
time of Divine service, a well-dressed gentle- 
man came out of the church and said, ' Gentle- 
men, we do not suffer any person in this country 
to travel on the Lord's day.' We gave him to 
understand that it was necessity which con- 
strained us to walk that way, as we had all been 
shipwrecked on St. Martin's [Martha's (?)] 
, Vineyard, and were journeying to Boston. The 
gentleman was still dissatisfied, but quitted our 
company and went into church. When we had 
gone a little farther, a large white house proved 
the object of our attention. The door being 
wide open, we reasonably imagined it was not 
in an unguarded state, without servants or 
others; but as we all went into the kitchen, no- 
body appeared to be within, nor was there an 
individual either above or below. However, I 
advised my companions to tarry in the house 
until some person or other should arrive. They 
did so, and in a short time afterwards two la- 
dies, richly dressed, with a footman following 
them, came in through the kitchen; and, not- 
withstanding they turned round and saw us, 

230 The Great Revival. 

who in so dirty and disagreeable a garb and ap- 
pearance might have terrified them exceed- 
ingly, yet neither of them was observed to take 
any notice of us, nor did either of them ask us 
any questions touching the cause of so great an 

" About a quarter of an hour afterwards, a 
footman entered the kitchen with a cloth and 
a large two-quart silver tankard full of rich 
cider, also a loaf and cheese ; but we, not 
knowing it was prepared for us, did not at- 
tempt to partake thereof. At length the ladies 
coming into the kitchen, and viewing us in our 
former position, desired to know the reason of 
our malady, seeing we were not refreshing our- 
selves ; whereupon I urged the others to join 
with me in the acceptance of so hospitable a 
proposal. After this the ladies commenced a 
similar inquiry into our situation. I gave them 
as particular an account of every recent vicissi- 
tude that befell us as I was capable of, with a 
genuine relation of our being shipwrecked, and 
the sole reasons of our travelling into that 
country; likewise begged that they would ex- 
cuse our impertinence, as they were already in- 
formed of the cause; we were then emboldened 
to ask the ladies if they could furnish us with a 
lodging that evening. They replied it was 
uncertain whether our wishes could be accom- 

Story of Silas Told. 231 

plished there, but that if we proceeded some- 
what farther we should doubtless be enter- 
tained and genteelly accommodated by their 
brother — a Quaker — whose house was not more 
than a distance of seven miles. We thanked 
the ladies, and set forward, and at about eight 
o'clock arrived at their brother's house. Fa- 
tigued with our journey, we hastened into the 
parlour and delivered our message; whereupon 
a gentleman gave us to understand, by his free 
and liberal conduct, that he was the Quaker 
referred to by the aforesaid ladies, who, total 
strangers as we were, used us with a degree of 
hospitality impossible to be exceeded ; indeed, 
I could venture to say that the accommoda- 
tions we met with at the Quaker's house, see- 
ing they were imparted to us with such affec- 
tionate sympathy, greatly outweighed those 
we formerly experienced. 

" After our banquet, the gentleman took us 
up into a fine spacious bed-chamber, with de- 
sirable bedding and very costly chintz curtains. 
We enjoyed a sound night's rest, and arose be- 
tween seven and eight the next morning, and 
were entertained with a good breakfast ; 
returned many thanks for the unrestrained 
friendship and liberality, and departed there- 
from, fully purposed to direct our course for 
Boston, which was not more than seven miles 

232 The Great Revival. 

farther. Here all the land was strewed with 
plenty, the orchards were replete with apple- 
trees and pears ; they had cider-presses in the 
centre of their orchards, and great quantities 
of fine cider, and any person might become a 
partaker thereof for the mere trouble of asking. 
We soon entered Boston, a commodious, beau- 
tiful city, with seventeen spired meetings, the 
dissenting religion being then established in 
that part of the world. I resided here for the 
space of four months, and lodged with Captain 
Seaborn at Deacon Townshend's; deacon of the 
North Meeting, and by trade a blacksmith." 
He gives a glowing and beautiful description of 
the high moral and religious character of Bos- 
ton ; here also he met with a stroke of good 
fortune in receiving some arrears of salvage for 
a vessel he had assisted in saving before his last 
wreck. Such are specimens of the interest and 
entertainment afforded in the earlier parts of 
this pleasant piece of autobiography. But we 
must hasten past his adventures, both in the 
island of Antigua and among the islands of the 

It is not wonderful that the great sufferings 
and toils of Silas should, even at a very early 
period of life, prostrate his health, and subject 
him to repeated vehement attacks of illness. 
He was but twenty-three when he married ; 

Story of Silas Told. 233 

still, however, a sailor, and destined yet for 
some wild experiences "on the seas. Not long, 
however. A married life disposed him for a 
home life, and he accepted, while still a very 
young man, the position of a schoolmaster, be- 
neath the patronage of a Lady Luther, in the 
county of Essex. He was not in this position 
very long. Silas, although an unconverted 
man, must have had strong religious feelings ; 
and the clergyman of the parish, fond of smok- 
ing and drinking with him — and it may well be 
conceived what an entertaining companion 
Silas must have been in those days, with his 
budget of adventures — ridiculed him for his 
faith in the Scriptures and his belief in Bible 
theology. This so shocked Silas, that, making 
no special profession of religion, he yet sepa- 
rated himself from the clergyman's company, 
and shortly after he left that neighbourhood, 
and again sought his fortune, but without any 
very cheerful prospects, in London. 

It was in 1740 that a young blacksmith intro- 
duced him to the people whom he had hitherto 
hated and despised — the Methodists. He heard 
John Wesley preach at the Foundry in the 
Moor Fields from the text, " I write unto you, 
little children, for your sins are forgiven you." 
This set his soul on fire; he became a Method- 
ist, notwithstanding the very vehement oppo- 

234 The Great Revival. 

sition of his wife, to whom he appears to have 
been very tenderly attached, and who herself 
was a very motherly and virtuous woman, but 
altogether indisposed to the new notions, as 
many people considered them. He improved 
in circumstances, and became a responsible 
managing clerk on a wharf at Wapping. While 
there Mr. Wesley repeatedly and earnestly 
pressed him to take charge of the charity school 
he had established at the Foundry. After long 
hesitation he did so; and it was here that while 
attending a service at five o'clock in the morn- 
ing, he heard Mr. Wesley preach from the text, 
" I was sick, and in prison, and ye visited me 
not." By a most remarkable application of this 
charge to himself, Silas testifies that his mind 
was stirred with a strange compunction, as he 
thought that he had never cared for, or at- 
tempted to ameliorate the condition, or to min- 
ister to the souls of the crowds of those unhappy 
malefactors who then almost weekly expiated 
their offences, very often of the most trivial 
description, on the gallows. It seems that the 
hearing that sermon proved to be a most 
remarkable turning-point in the life of Silas. 
Through it he became most eminently* useful 
during a very remarkable and painful career; 
and his after-life is surrounded by such a suc- 
cession of romantic incidents that they at once 

Story of Silas Told. 235 

equal, if they do not transcend, and strangely 
contrast with his wild adventures on the seas. 
And here we may pause a moment to reflect 
how every man's work derives its character from 
what he was before. What thousands of sailors, 
in that day, passed through all the trials which 
Silas passed, leaving them still only rough 
sailor men! In him all the roughness seemed 
only to strike down to depths of wonderful 
compassion and tenderness. Singular was the 
university in which he graduated to become so 
great and powerful a preacher ! How he preached 
we do not know, but his words must have been 
warm and touching, faithful and loving, judging 
from their results; and as to his pulpit, we do 
not hear that it was in chapels or churches — 
his audience was very much confined to the 
condemned cell, and to the cart from whence 
the poor victims were " turned off," as it was 
called in those days. In this work he found 
his singular niche. How long it often takes for 
a man to find his place in the work that is 
given him to do; and when the place is found, 
sometimes, how long it takes to fit nicely and 
admirably into the work itself! what sharp 
angles have to be rubbed away, what difficulties 
to be overcome! It is wonderful, with all the 
horrible experiences through which this man 
had passed, and spectacles of cruelty so revolt- 

236 , The Great Revival. 

ing that they seem almost to shake our faith, 
not merely in man, but even in a just and over- 
ruling God, that every sentiment of religion 
and tenderness had not been eradicated from 
his nature; but it would appear that the old 
gracious influences of childhood — the days of 
the Pilgrim's Progress, and the wonderful 
vision when drowning beneath the waters, had 
never been effaced through all his strange and 
chequered career, although certainly not un- 
tainted by the sins of the ordinary sailor's life. 
The work in which he was now to be engaged 
needed a very tender and affectionate nature; 
but ordinary tenderness starts back and is 
repelled by cruel and repulsive scenes. Told's 
education on the seas, like that of a surgeon in 
a hospital, enabled him to look on harrowing 
sights of suffering without wincing, or losing in 
his tender interest his own self-possession. 

It ought not to be forgotten that John How- 
ard, the great prison philanthropist, belongs to 
the epoch of the Great Revival. Of him 
Edmund Burke said, " He had visited all 
Europe in a circumnavigation of charity, not to 
survey the sumptuousness of palaces, or the 
stateliness of temples; not to collect medals or 
to collate manuscripts, but to dive into the 
depths of dungeons and to plunge into the in- 
fections of hospitals." About the year 1760,* 
* See Appendix. 

Story of Silas Told. 237 

when he began his consecrated work, Silas Told, 
as a prison philanthropist upon a smaller, but 
equally earnest scale, attempted to console the 
prisoners of Newgate. 

Shortly after hearing that sermon to which 
we have alluded, a messenger came to him at 
the school to tell him that there were ten 
malefactors lying under sentence of death in 
Newgate, some of them in a state of consider- 
able terror and alarm, and imploring him to 
find some one to visit them. Here was the call 
to the work. The coincidences were remark- 
able : John Wesley's sermon, his own aroused 
and tender state of mind produced by the 
sermon, and the occasion for the active and 
practical exercise of his feeling. So opportu- 
nities would meet us of turning suggestions into 
usefulness, if we watched for them. 

The English laws were barbarous in those 
days ; truly it has been said that a fearfully 
heavy weight of blood rests upon the conscience 
of England for the state of the law in those 
times. Few of those who have given such 
honour to the noble labours of John Howard 
and the loving ministrations of Elizabeth Fry 
ever heard of Silas Told. In a smaller sphere 
than the first of these, and in a much more in- 
tensely painful manner than the second, he 
anticipated the labours of both. He instantly 

238 The Great Revival. 

responded to this first call to Newgate. Two 
of the ten malefactors were reprieved ; he 
attended the remaining eight to the gallows. 
He had so influenced the hearts of all of them 
in their cell that their obduracy was broken 
down and softened — so great had been his 
power over them, that locked up together in 
one cell the night before their execution, they 
had spent it in prayer and solemn conversation. 
"At length they were orderec^ into the cart, 
and I was prevailed upon to go with them. 
When we were in the cart I addressed myself 
to each of them separately. The first was Mr. 
Atkins, the son of a glazier in the city, a youth 
nineteen years of age. I said to him, ' My dear, 
are you afraid to die ?' He said, ' No, sir; 
really I am not.' I asked him wherefore he was 
not afraid to die ? and he said, ' I have laid my 
soul at the feet of Jesus, therefore I am not 
afraid to die.' I then spake to Mr. Gardner, a 
journeyman carpenter; he made a very comfort- 
able report of the true peace of God which he 
found reigning in his heart. The last person 
to whom I spoke was one Thompson, a very 
illiterate young man; but he assured me he was 
perfectly happy in his Saviour, and continued 
so until his last moments. This was the first 
time of my visiting the malefactors in Newgate, 
and then it was not without much shame and 

Story of Silas Told. 239 

fear, because I clearly perceived the greater part 
of the populace considered me as one of the 

The most remarkable of this cluster was one 
John Lancaster — for what offence he was sent- 
enced to death does not appear; but the entire 
account Silas gives of him, both in the prison 
and at the place of execution, exhibits a fine, 
tender, and really holy character. The attend- 
ant sheriff himself burst into tears before the 
beautiful demeanour of this young man. How- 
ever, so it was, that he was without any friend 
in London to procure for his body a proper 
interment; and the story of Silas admits us 
into a pretty spectacle of the times. After the 
poor bodies were cut down, Lancaster's was 
seized by a surgeons' mob, who intended to 
carry it over to Paddington. It was Silas's first 
experience, as we have seen ; and he describes 
the whole scene as rather like a great fair than 
an awful execution. In this confusion the body 
of Lancaster had been seized, the crowd dis- 
persed — all save some old woman, who sold 
gin, and Silas himself, very likely smitten into 
extraordinary meditation by a spectacle so new 
to him — when a company of eight sailors ap- 
peared on the scene, with truncheons in their 
hands, who said they had come to see the ex- 
ecution, and gazed with very menacing faces 

240 The Great Revival. 

on the vacated gallows from whence the bodies 
had been cut down. " Gentlemen," said the 
old woman, " I suppose you want the man that 
the surgeons have got ?" " Ay," said the sailors, 
where is he ?" The old woman gave them to 
understand that the body had been carried 
away to Paddington, and she pointed them to 
the direct road. Away the sailors hastened — 
it may be presumed that Lancaster was a 
sailor, and some old comrade of these men. 
They demanded his body from the surgeons' 
mob, and obtained it. What they intended to 
do with it scarcely transpires ; it is most likely 
that they had intended a rescue at the foot of 
the gallows, and arrived too late. However, 
hoisting it on their shoulders, away they 
marched with it off to Islington, and thence 
round to Shoreditch ; thence to a place called 
Coventry's Fields. By this time they were 
getting fairly wearied out with their burden, 
and by unanimous consent they agreed to lay 
it on the step of the first door they came to : 
this done, they started off. It created some 
stir in the street, which brought down an old 
woman who lived in the house to the step of the 
door, and who exclaimed, as she saw the body, 
in a loud, agitated voice, "Lord ! this is my son 
John Lancaster !" It is probable that the old 
woman was a Methodist, for to Silas Told and 

Story of Silas Told. 241 

the Methodists she was indebted for a decent and 
respectable burial for her son in a good strong 
coffin and decent shroud. Silas and his wife 
went to see him whilst he was lying so, previ- 
ous to his burial. There was no alteration of 
his visage, no marks of violence, and says Told, 
" A pleasant smile appeared on his counte- 
nance, and he lay as in sweet sleep." A singu- 
larly romantic story, for it seems the sailors did 
not know at all to whom he belonged; and 
what an insight into the social condition of 
London at that time ! 

Told did not give up his connection with his 
school at the Foundry, but he devoted himself, 
sanctioned by John Wesley and his Church 
fellowship, to the preaching and ministering to 
all the poor felons and malefactors in London, 
including also, in this exercise of love, the 
work-houses for twelve miles round London; he 
believed he had a message of tender sympathy 
for those who were of this order, " sick and in 
prison." It seems strange to us, who know how 
much he had suffered himself, that the old 
sailor possessed such a loving, tender, and 
affectionate heart; and yet he tells how, in the 
earlier part of these very years, he was haunted 
by irritating doubts and alarms : then came to 
him old mystical revelations, such as those he 
had known when drowning, reminding us of 

242 The Great Revival. 

similar instances in the lives of John Howe and 
John Flavel; and the noble man was strength- 

He went on for twenty years in the way we 
have described; and the interest of his autobi- 
ography compels the wish that it were much 
longer; for, of course, the largest amount of his 
precious life of labour was not set down, and 
cannot be recalled ; and readers who are fond 
of romance will find his name in connection 
with some of the most remarkable executions 
of his time. 

A singular circumstance was this : Four 
gentlemen — Mr. Brett, the son of an eminent 
divine in Dublin; Whalley, a gentleman of con- 
siderable fortune, possessed of three country- 
seats of his own; Dupree, " in every particular," 
says Silas, " a complete gentleman;" and Mor- 
gan, an officer on board one of His Majesty's 
ships of war — after dinner, upon the occasion of 
their being at an election for the members for 
Chelmsford, proposed to start forth, and, by 
way of recreation, rob somebody on the high- 
way. Away they went, and chanced upon a 
farmer, whom they eased of a considerable sum 
of money. The farmer followed them into 
Chelmsford ; they were all secured, and next 
day removed to London; they took their trials, 
and were sentenced, and left for execution. 

Story of Silas Told. 243 

Told visited them all in prison. Morgan was 
engaged to be married to Lady Elizabeth Ham- 
ilton, the sister of the Duke of Hamilton. She 
repeatedly visited her affianced husband in the 
cell, and Told was with them at most of their 
interviews. It was supposed that, from the 
rank of the prisoners, and the character of their 
offence, there would be no difficulty in obtain- 
ing a reprieve ; but the King was quite inexor- 
able ; he said, "his subjects were not to be in 
bodily fear in order that men might gratify 
their drunken whims." Lady Elizabeth Ham- 
ilton, however, thrust herself several times be- 
fore the King ; wept, threw herself on her 
knees, and behaved altogether in such a man- 
ner that the King said, " Lady Betsy, there is 
no standing your importunity any further ; I 
will spare his life, but on one condition — that 
he is not acquainted therewith until he arrives 
at the place of execution;" and it was so. The 
other three unfortunates were executed, and 
Lady Elizabeth, in her coach, received her 
lover into it as he stepped from the cart. It is 
a sad story, but it must have been a sweet sat- 
isfaction to the lady. 

Far more dreadful were some cases which 
engaged the tender heart of Silas. A young 
man, named Coleman, was tried for an aggra- 
vated assault on a young woman. The young 

244 The Great Revival. 

woman herself declared that Coleman was not 
the man ; but he had enemies who pressed ap- 
parent circumstances against him, and urged 
them on the young woman, to induce her to 
change her opinion. She never wavered ; yet, 
singular to say, he was convicted and executed. 
A short time after the real criminal was dis- 
covered, by his own confession ; he was also 
tried, condemned, and executed, and the per- 
jured witnesses against poor Coleman sentenced 
to stand in the pillory. 

But one of the most pitiful and dreadful cases 
in Silas Told's experience was that of Mary 
Edmondson, a sweet young girl, tried upon 
mere circumstantial evidence, and executed 
on Kennington Common, for the supposed 
murder of her aunt at Rotherhithe. She ap- 
pears to have been most brutally treated ; the 
mob believed her to be guilty, and received 
her with shocking execrations. Whether Silas 
had a prejudice against her or not, we cannot 
say ; it is not likely that he had a prejudice 
against any suffering soul; but it so happened, 
he says, as he had not visited her in her impris- 
onment, so he entertained no idea of seeing her 
suffer. But as he was passing through the 
Borough, a pious cheesemonger, named Skin- 
ner, called him into his shop, tenderly ex- 
pressed deep interest in her present and future 

Story of Silas Told. 245 

state, and besought him to see her; so his first 
interview with her was only just as she was 
going forth to her sad end. 

Silas shall tell the story himself: " When 
she was brought into the room, she stood with 
her back against the wainscot, but appeared 
perfectly resigned to the will of God. I then 
addressed myself to her, saying, ' My dear, for 
God's sake, for Christ's sake, for the sake of 
your own precious soul, do not die with a lie in 
your mouth; you are, in a few moments, to ap- 
pear in the presence of the holy God, who is of 
purer eyes than to behold iniquity. Oh, con- 
sider what an eternity of misery must be the 
position of all who die in their sins !' She 
heard me with much meekness and simplicity, 
but answered that she had already advanced 
the truth, and must persevere in the same spirit 
to her last moments." Efforts were made to 
prevent Told from accompanying her any far- 
ther, and the rioters were so exasperated 
against her that Told seems only to have been 
safe by keeping near to the sheriff along the 
whole way. The sheriff also told him that he 
would be giving a great satisfaction to the 
whole nation, could he only bring her to a con- 
fession. "Now, as we were proceeding on the 
road, the sheriff's horse being close to the cart, 
I looked up at her from under the horse's 

246 The Great Revival. 

bridle, and I said, ' My dear, look to Jesus.' 
This quickened her spirit, insomuch that al- 
though she had not looked about her before, 
she turned herself round to me, and said, ' Sir, 
I bless God I can look to Jesus — to my com- 
fort.' " 

Arrived at the place of execution, he spoke 
to her again solemnly, " Did you not commit 
the act ? Had you no concern therein ? Were 
you not interested in the murder ?" She said, 
" I am as clear of the whole affair as I was the 
day my mother brought me into the world." 
She was very young, she had all the aspects of 
innocence about her. The sheriff burst into 
tears, and turned his head away, exclaiming, 
" Good God ! it is a second Coleman's case !" 

At this moment her cousin stepped up into 
the cart, and sought to kiss her. She turned 
her face away, and pushed him off. She had 
before charged him with being the murderer — 
and he was. When subsequently taken up for 
another crime, he confessed the committal of 
this. Her aunt had left to Mary, in the event 
of her death, more money than to this wretch. 
The executioner drew the cart away, and 
Mary's body — leaning the poor head, in her last 
moments, on Silas's shoulder — dear old Silas, 
her only comfort in that terrible hour — fell in- 
to the arms of death. But he tells how she 

Story of Silas Told. 247 

was cold and still before the cart was drawn 

But perhaps a still more pitiful case was that 
of poor Anderson, who was hanged for stealing 
sixpence: he was a labouring man, and had been 
of irreproachable character. He and his wife — 
far gone with child — were destitute of money, 
clothes, and food. He said to his wife, " My 
dear, I will go out, down to the quays; it may 
be that the Lord will provide me with a loaf of 
bread." All his efforts were fruitless, but pass- 
ing through Hoxton Fields, he met two wash- 
erwomen. He did not bid them stop, but he 
said to one, " Mistress, I want money." She 
gave him twopence. He said to the other, 
" You have money, I know you have." She 
said, " I have fourpence." He took that. In- 
sensible of what might follow, as of what he had 
done, he walked down into Old Street : there, 
the two women having followed him gave him 
in charge of a constable. He was tried, sen- 
tenced to death, and for this he died. " Never," 
says Told, "through the years I have attended 
the prisoners, have I seen such meek, loving, 
patient spirits as this man and his wife." ■ Told 
attended him to execution, and sought to com- 
fort the poor fellow by promising him to look 
after his wife; and most tenderly did Told and 
his wife redeem the promise, for they took her 

248 The Great Revival. 

for a short time into their own home. Told 
obtained a housekeeper's situation for her, and 
she became a creditable and respected woman. 
He bound her daughter apprentice to a weaver, 
and she, probably, turned out well, although he 
says, " I have never seen her but twice since, 
which is many years ago." 

Our readers will, perhaps, think that it is 
time we drew these harrowing stories to a close; 
but there are many more of them in this brief, 
but most interesting, although forgotten auto- 
biography. They are recited with much pathos. 
We have the story of Harris, the flying high- 
wayman; of Bolland, a sheriff's officer, who was 
executed for forging a note, although he had 
refunded the money, and twice afterwards paid 
the sum of the bill to secure himself. A young 
gentleman, named Slocomb, defrauded his 
father of three hundred pounds ; his father 
would not in anyway stir, or remit his claim, to 
save him. Told attended him and thought 
highly of him, not only because he expressed 
himself with so much resignation, but because 
he never indulged a complaint against him 
whom Told calls "that lump of adamant, his 
father." With him was executed another young 
gentleman, named Powell, for forgery. Silas 
Told also attended that cruel woman, Elizabeth 
Brownrigg, who was executed for the atrocious 

Story of Silas Told. 249 

murder of her apprentices. And of all the 
malefactors whom he attended she seems to us 
the most unsatisfactory. 

We trust our readers will not be displeased 
to receive these items from the biography of a 
very remarkable, a singularly romantic and 
chequered, as well as singularly useful career. 
References to Silas Told will be found in most 
of the biographies of Wesley. Southey passes 
him by with a very slight allusion. Tyerman 
dwells on his memory with a little more tender- 
ness ; but, with the exception of Stevens, none 
has touched with real interest upon this extra- 
ordinary though obscure man, and his romantic 
life and labours in a very strange path of Chris- 
tian benevolence and usefulness. He was 
known, far and near, as the "prisoners' chap- 
lain," although an unpaid one. He closed his life 
in 1778, in the sixty-eighth year of his age. As 
we have seen, John Wesley appropriately offici- 
ated at his funeral, and pronounced an affection- 
ate encomium over the remains of his honoured 
old friend and fellow-labourer. 

250 The Great Revival. 



Illustrating what we have said before, it 
remains to be noticed, that nearly all the great 
societies sprang into existence almost simul- 
taneously. The foremost among these,* found- 
ed in 1792, was the Baptist Missionary Society. 
It appears to have arisen from a suggestion of 
William Carey, the celebrated Northampton- 
shire shoemaker, who proposed as an inquiry to 
an association of Northamptonshire ministers, 
" whether it were not practicable and obligatory 
to attempt the conversion of the heathen." It 
is certainly still a moot question whether Le 
Verrier or Adams first laid the hand of science 
on the planet Neptune; but it seems quite cer- 
tain that, when one of God's great thoughts is 
throbbing in the heart of one of His apostles, 
the same impulse and passion is stirring 

* It is not implied that these were the first modern missionary- 
agencies. The Moravians had already sent the Gospel into 
many regions. There were Swedish and Danish Missionary 
Societies also at work. In 1649 a Society for Promoting and 
Propagating the Gospel of Jesus Christ in New England had been 
formed, and about 1697 the " Society for Promoting Christian 
Knowledge " and the " Society for the Propagation of the Gospel 
in Foreign Parts " were established. See page 256 and foot note. 

)£ <&rrat gUbibal. 


William Carey. 

p. 252. 

Missionary Societies. 253 

another, perhaps others, in remote and far- 
away scenes. Altogether unknown to William 
Carey, that same year the great Claudius 
Buchanan was dreaming his divine dreams 
about the conquest of India for Christ, in St. 
Mary's College, Cambridge.* Undoubtedly the 
honour of the first consolidation of the thought 
into a missionary enterprise must be given to 
William Carey and his little band of obscure 

At the close of Carey's address, to which we 
have referred, a collection was made for the 
purpose of attempting a missionary crusade 
upon Hindostan, amounting to £13 2s. 6d.= 
$65.60. The wits made fine work of this: the 
reader may still turn to Sydney Smith's paper 
in the Edinburgh Review, in which the idea 
and the effort are satirised as that of " an army 
of maniacs setting forth to the conquest of 
India." But this humble effort resulted in 
magnificent achievements ; Carey and his illus- 
trious coadjutors, Ward and Marshman, set 
forth, and became stupendous Oriental schol- 
ars, translating the Word of Life into many 
Indian dialects. Then came tempests of abuse 
and scurrility at home from eminent pens. We 
experience a shame in reading them; but it 
shows the catholicity of spirit pervading the 
minds of Christ's real followers, that Lord 

* See Appendix. 

254 The Great Revival. 

Teignmouth, and William Wilberforce, and Dr. 
Buchanan, were amongst the ablest and most 
earnest defenders of the noble Baptist mission- 
aries. We are able to see now that this mis- 
sion may be said to have saved India to the 
British Empire. It not only created the 
scholars to whom we have referred, and the 
bands of holy labourers, but also the sagacity 
of Lord Lawrence, and the consecrated courage 
of Sir Henry Havelock. We are prepared, 
therefore, to maintain that England is indebted 
more to William Carey and his £13 2s. 6d. than 
to the cunning of Clive and the rapacity of 
Warren Hastings. 

Another child of the Revival was- born in 
1795 — the London Missionary Society. But it 
would be idle to attempt to enumerate the 
names either of its founders, its missionaries, or 
their fields of labour ; let the reader turn to the 
names of the founders, and he will find they 
were nearly all enthusiasts who had been bap- 
tised into the spirit of the Revival — Rowland 
Hill, Matthew Wilks, Alexander Waugh, Wil- 
liam Kingsbury, and, notably, Thomas Haweis, 
the Rector of Aldwinckle ana! chaplain to the 
Countess of Huntingdon. Nor must we omit 
the name of David Bogue,*that strong and elo- 
quent intelligence, whose admirable and sug- 
gestive work on The Divine Authority of the 

* See Appendix. . 

Missionary Societies. 255 

New Testament, sent to Napoleon in his exile 
at St. Helena by the Viscountess Duncan, was, 
after the Emperor's death, returned to the 
author full of annotations, thus seeming to 
give some clue to those religious conversations, 
in which the illustrious exile certainly astonishes 
us, not long before his departure. 

It is the London Missionary Society which 
has covered the largest surface of the earth 
with its missions, and it is not invidious to say 
that its records register a larger range of con- 
quests over heathenism and idolatry than could 
be chronicled in any age since the first apostles 
went upon their way. We have only to remem- 
ber the Sandwich Islands,* and the crowds of 
islands in the Southern Seas, with their chief 
civiliser, the martyr of Erromanga; Africa, from 
the Cape along through the deep interior, with 
Moffatt and Livingstone, whose celebrated 
motto was, " The end of the geographical feat 
is the beginning of the missionary enterprise ;" 
China and Robert Morison ; Madagascar and 
William Ellis, and many other regions and 
names to justify our verdict. 

In 1799 the Church Missionary Society came 
into existence. " What !" said the passionate 

[* The civilisation and Christian character of these Islands is 
largely due to the labours of the missionaries of the American 
Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. — Ed.] 

256 The Great Revival. 

and earnest Rev. Melville Home, in attempt- 
ing to arouse the clergy to missionary enthusi- 
asm ; "have Carey and the Baptists had more 
forgiven than we, that they should love more ? 
Have the fervent Methodists and patient 
Moravians been extortionate publicans, that 
they should expend their all in a cause which 
we decline ? Have our Independent brethren 
persecuted the Church more, that they should 
now be more zealous in propagating the faith 
which it once destroyed ?" And so the Church 
Missionary Society arose ; and in 1804, the 
Bible Society; in 1805, the British and Foreign 
School Society ; in 1799, the Religious Tract 
Society, which, since its foundation, has prob- 
ably circulated not less than five hundred mil- 
lions of publications. The Wesleyan Mission- 
ary Society — which claims in date to take pre- 
cedence of all in its foundation in the year 1769 
— was not formally constituted till 1817.* 

[*The great missionary organizations of America belong to 
the early part of this century. The First day or Sunday-school 
Society was formed in 1791 ; the American Board of Commis- 
sioners for Foreign Missions in 1 8 10 ; the American Baptist 
Missionary Union in 18 14 ; Methodist Episcopal Missionary 
Society in 18 19 ; the Philadelphia Adult and Sunday-school 
Union (which, in 1824, was merged in the American Sunday- 
school Union) in 181 7 ; the Protestant Episcopal Board of Mis- 
sions in 1 82 1 . Of Continental Societies, the Moravian Missionary 
Society was formed in 1732 ; the Netherlands Missionary Society 
in 1797; the Basle Evangelical Mission in 1816. Appendix. — Ed.] 

Missionary Societies, 257 

Every one of these, and many other such asso- 
ciations, alike show the vivid and vigorous 
spirit which was abroad seeking to secure the 
empire of the world to the cause of Divine truth 
and love. 

And, meantime, what works were going on 
at home ? Education and intelligence were 
widely spreading; simple academies were form- 
ing, like that founded by the Countess of 
Huntingdon at Trevecca, where the minds of 
young men were being moulded and informed 
to become the intelligent vehicles of the Gos- 
pel message — eminently that of the great and 
good Cornelius Winter, in Gloucestershire; and 
that of David Bogue at Gosport ; while, in the 
north of England, arose the small but very 
effective colleges of Bradford and Rotherham ; 
and the now handsome Lancashire Independ- 
ent College had its origin in the vestry of 
Mosley Street Chapel, where the sainted 
William Roby, as tutor, gathered around him 
a number of young men, and armed them with 
intellectual appliances for the work of the min- 

Some of the earliest efforts of Methodism, 
and some of the most successful, had been in 
the gaols, and among the malefactors of the 
country — notably in the wonderful labours of 
Silas Told, whose extraordinary story has been 

258 The Great Revival. 

recited in these pages. Silas passed away, but 
an angel of light moved through the cells of 
Newgate in the person of Elizabeth Fry, as 
beautiful and commanding in her presence as 
she was holy in her sweet and fervid zeal. Now 
began thoughts too about the waifs and strays 
of the population — the helpless and forgotten ; 
and John Townshend, an Independent minis- 
ter, laid the foundation of the first Deaf and 
Dumb Asylum, the noble institution of London. 

In the world of politics, also, the men of the 
Revival were exercising their influence, and 
procuring charters of freedom for the mind of 
the nation. Has it not been ever true that civil 
and religious liberty have flourished side by 
side ? A blight cannot pass over one without 
withering the other. The honour of the Repeal 
of the Test and Corporation Acts is due to the 
Great Revival : the Toleration Act of those 
days was really more oppressive on pious mem- 
bers of the Church of England than on Dissent- 
ers; they could not obtain, as Dissenters could, 
a licence for holding religious services in their 
houses, because they were members of the ■ 
Church of England. 

William Wilberforce owed his first religious 
impressions to the preaching of Whitefield ; 
with all his fine liberality of heart, he became 
an ardent member of the communion of the 

Missionary Societies. 259 

Church of England. It seems incredible to 

us now that he lived constantly in the expecta- 
tion — we will not say fear — of indictments 
against him, for holding prayer-meetings and 
religious services at his house in Kensington 
Gore. Lord Barham, the father of the late ami- 
able and excellent Baptist Noel, was fined forty 
pounds, on two informations of his neighbour, 
the Earl of Romney, for a breach of the statute 
in like services. That such a state of things 
as this was changed to the free and happy or- 
dinances now in force, was owing to the spirit 
which was abroad, giving not only freedom to 
the soul of the man, but dignity and independ- 
ence to the social life of the citizen. Every- 
where, and in every department of life, the 
spirit of the Revival moved over the face of the 
waters, dividing the light from the darkness, 
and thus God said, " Let there be light, and 
there was light." 

260 The Great Revival. 



The effects of that great awakening which 
we have thus attempted concisely, but fairly, 
to delineate, are with us still ; the strength is 
diffused, the tone and colour are modified. One 
chief purpose has guided the pen of the writer 
throughout : it has been to show that the im- 
mense regeneration effected in English manners 
and society during the later years of the last 
century and the first of the present, was the 
result of a secret, silent, most subtle spiritual 
force, awakening the minds and hearts of men 
in most opposite parts of the nation, and in 
widely different social circumstances. We 
would give all honour where honour is due, re- 
membering that " Every good gift and every 
perfect gift is from above." There are writers 
whose special admiration is given to some 
favourite sect, some effective movement, or 
some especially beloved name ; but a dispas- 
sionate view, an entrance — if we may be per- 
mitted so to speak of it — into the camera, the 
chamber of the times, presents to the eye a 

Aftermath. 26 1 

long succession of actors, and brings out into 
the clear light a wonderful variety of influences 
all simultaneously at work to redeem society 
from its darkness, and to give it a higher degree 
of spiritual purity and mental and moral dig- 

The first great workers were passing away, 
most of them, as is usually the case, dying on 
Pisgah, seeing most distinctly the future results 
of their work, but scarcely permitted to enter 
upon the full realisation of it. In 1791, in the 
eighty-fourth year of her age, died the revered 
Countess of Huntingdon ; her last words, " My 
work is done ; I have nothing to do but to go 
to my Father !" No chronicle of convent or of 
canonisation, nor any story of biography, can 
record a more simple, saintly, and utterly un- 
selfish life. To the last unwearied, she was 
daily occupied in writing long letters, arranging 
for her many ministers, disposing of her chapel 
trusts ; sometimes feeling that her rank, and 
certain suppositions as to the extent of her 
wealth, made her an object upon which men 
were not indisposed to exercise their rapacity. 
Still, as compared with the state of society 
when she commenced her work, in this her 
closing year, she must have looked over a hope- 
ful and promising future, as sweet and enchant- 
ing as the ineffably lovely scenery upon which 


The Great Revival. 

her eyes opened at Castle Doddington, and the 
neighbouring beauties of her first wedded home. 
In 1791, John Wesley, in his eighty-eighth 
year, entered into his rest, faithfully murmuring, 
as well as weakness and stammering lips could 


articulate, " The best of all is, God is with us !" 
Abel Stevens says, ' ' His life stands out in the 
history of the world, unquestionably pre-emin- 
ent in religious labours above that of any other 
man since the apostolic age." It is not neces- 

&|>e 6reat gebifraL 

The Wesley Monument. 

p. 264. 

Aftermath. 265 

sary, in order to do Wesley sufficient honour, 
to indulge in such invidious comparisons. It is 
significant, however, that the last straggling 
syllables which ever fell from the pen in his 
beloved hand, were in a letter to William Wil- 
berforce, cheering him on in his efforts for 
the abolition of slavery and the slave trade. 
Charles Wesley had preceded his brother to his 
rest in 1788, in the eightieth year of his age. 

Thus the earlier labourers were passing away, 
and the work of the Revival was passing into 
other forms, illustrating how not only " one 
generation passeth away, and another cometh," 
but also how, as the workers pass, the work 
abides. It would be very pleasant to spend 
some time in noticing the interior of many old 
halls, which were now opening, at once for the 
entertainment of evangelists, and for Divine 
service ; prejudices were dying out, and so far 
from the new religious life proving inimical to 
the repose of the country, it was found to be 
probably its surest security and friend ; and 
while the efforts were growing for carrying to 
far-distant regions the truth which enlightens 
and saves, anecdotes are not wanting to show 
that it was this very spirit which created a 
tender interest in maintaining and devising 
means to make more secure the minister's hap- 
piness at home. 

266 The Great Revival. 

From many points of view William Wilber- 
force may be regarded as the central man of 
the Revival in its new and crowning aspect; as 
he bore the standard of England at that great 
funeral which did honour to all that was mortal 
of his friend William Pitt, on its way to the 
vaults of the old Abbey, so, as his predecessors 
departed, it devolved on him to bear the stand- 
ard of those truths and principles which had 
effected the great change, and which were to 
effect, if possible, yet greater changes. By his 
sweet, winning, and if silvery, yet enchaining 
and overwhelming eloquence, by his conver- 
sation, which cannot have been, from the tra- 
ditions which are preserved of it, less than 
wonderful, and by his lucid and practical pen, 
he continued to give eminent effect to the Re- 
vival, and to procure for its doctrines accept- 
ance in the highest circles of society. It is 
perhaps difficult now to understand the cause of 
the wonderful influence produced by his Prac- 
tical View of Christianity ; that book itself 
illustrates how the seeds of things are trans- 
mitted through many generations. It is a long 
way to look back to the poor pedlar who called 
at the farm door of Richard Baxter's father in 
Eaton-Constantine, and sold there Richard 
Sibbs's Bruised Reed, but that was the birth- 
hour of that great and transcendently glorious 

Aftermath. t 267 

book, The Saint's Everlasting Rest. The Saint's 
Everlasting Rest was the inspiration of Philip 
Doddridge, and to it we owe his Rise and Pro- 
gress of Religion in the Soul. Wilberforce read 
that book, and it moved him to the desire to 
speak out its earnestness, pathos, and solemnity 
in tones suitable to the spirit of the Great Re- 
vival which had been going on around him. A 
young clergyman read the result of Wilber- 
force's wish in his Practical View of Christianity, 
and he testifies, " To that book I owe a debt of 
gratitude; to my unsought and unexpected in- 
troduction to it, I owe the first sacred impres- 
sions which I ever received as to the spiritual 
nature of the Gospel system, the vital character 
of personal religion, the corruption of the hu- 
man heart, and the way of salvation by Jesus 
Christ." And all this was very shortly given 
to the world in those beautiful pieces, which it 
surely must be ever a pleasure to read, whether 
for their tender delineation of the most import- 
ant truths, or the exquisite language, and the 
delightful charm of natural scenery and pathetic 
reflection in which the experiences of The 
Young Cottager, The Dairyman' s Daughter, and 
other " short and simple annals of the poor," 
are conveyed through the fascinating pen of 
Legh Richmond. 

In this eminently lovely and lovable life we 

268 The Great Revival. 

meet with one on whom, assuredly, the mantle 
of the old clerical fathers of the Revival had 
fallen. He was a Churchman and a clergyman, 
he loved and honoured his Church and its ser- 
vices exceedingly; but it seems impossible to 
detect, in any single act of his life or word of 
his writings, a tinge of acerbity or bitterness. 
The quiet and mellowed charm of his tracts — 
which are certainly among the finest pieces of 
writing in that way which we possess — appear 
to have pervaded his whole life. Brading, in 
the Isle of Wight, has been marvellously trans- 
formed since he was the vicar of its simple little 
church; the old parsonage, where little Jane 
talked with her pastor, is now only a memory, 
and no longer, as we saw it first many years 
since, a feature in the charming landscape; and 
the little epitaphs which the vicar himself wrote 
for the stones, or wooden memorials over the 
graves of his parishioners, are all obliterated by 
time. Several years since we sought in vain 
for the sweet verse on his own infant daughter, 
although about thirty-five years since we read 
it there: 

" This early bud, so young and fair, 
Called hence by early doom, 
Just came to show how sweet a flower 
In Paradise should bloom." 

But these little papers of this excellent man 

Aftermath. 269 

circulated wherever the English language was 
spoken or read, and the spirit of their pages pene- 
trated farther than the pages themselves; while 
they seem to present in a more pleasant, win- 
ning and portable form the spirit of the Revival, 
divested of much of the ruggedness which had, 
naturally, characterized its earlier pens. 

Indeed, if some generalisation were needed 
to express the phase into which the Revival 
was passing, at this, the earlier part of the 
present century, it should be called the " liter- 
ary." Eminent names were appearing, and 
eminent pens, to gather up the elements of 
faith which had moved the minds and tongues 
of men in past years, and to arrest the con- 
science through the eye. This opens up a field 
so large that we cannot do justice to it in these 
brief sketches. To name here only one other 
writer ; — Thomas Scott, the commentator on 
the Bible, and author of The Force of Truth, 
is acknowledged to have exerted an influence 
the greatness of which has been described in 
glowing terms by men such as Sir James 
Stephen and John Henry Newman. 

No idea can be formed by those of the pres- 
ent generation of the immense influence Charles 
Simeon exercised over the mind of the Church 
of England. He was the leader of the grow- 
ing evangelical party in the Church ; his 

270 The Great Revival. 

doctrines were exactly those which had been 
the favourite on the lips of Whitefield, Berridge, 
Grimshaw, and Newton. His family was an- 
cient and respectable, he was the son of a Berk- 
shire squire. He had been educated at Eton, 
and afterwards at King's College, Cambridge ; 
he became very wealthy. His accession to the 
life of the Revival seemed like an immense 


addition of natural influence : he was faithful 
and earnest, and, in the habits of his mind and 
character, exactly what we understand by the 
thorough English gentleman; almost may it be 
said that he made the Revival "gentlemanly" 
in clergymen. He opened the course of his 
fifty-six years' ministry in Cambridge amidst a 
storm of persecution ; the church-wardens 

Aftermath. 271 

attempted to crush him, the pews of his church 
were locked up, and he was even locked out of 
the building. Through all this he passed, and 
he became, for the greater part of the 16ng 
period we have mentioned, the most noted 
preacher of his town and university ; and he 
published, certainly, in his Horce Homileticce a 
greater number of attempts at opening texts 
in the form of sermons, than had ever been 
given to the world. Simeon devoted his own 
fortune and means for the purchase of advow- 
sons, in order that the pulpits of churches might 
be filled by the representatives of his own opin- 
ions. No history of the Revival can be 
complete without noticing this phase, which 
scattered over England, far more extensively 
than can be here described, a new order of 
clergyman, who have maintained in their circles 
evangelical truth, and have held no inconsider- 
able sway over the mind of the country. 

We only know history through men ; events 
are only possible through men, of whose mind 
and activity they are the manifestation. This 
brief succession of sketches has been very great- 
ly a series of portraits standing out prominently 
from the scenery to which the character gave 
effect; but of this singular, almost simultaneous 
movement, how much has been left unrecord- 
ed ! It remains unquestionably true that no 

272 The Great Revival. 

adequate and perfectly impartial review of the 
Revival has ever yet been written. 

The story of the Revival in Wales, what it 
found there, and what it effected, is one of its 
most interesting chapters. How deep was the 
slumber when, about 1735-37, Howell Harris 
began to. traverse the Principality, exhorting 
his neighbours concerning the interests of their 
souls ! another illustration that it was not from 
one single spring that the streams of the Re- 
vival poured over the land. It was rather like 
some great mountain, such as Plinlimmon, 
from whose high centre, elevated among the 
clouds, leap forth five rivers, meandering among 
the rocks in their brook-like way, until at last 
they pour themselves along the lowlands in 
broad and even magnificent streams, either 
uniting as the Severn and the Wye, or finding 
their separate way to the ocean. Whitefield 
found his way to Wales, but Howell Harris was 
already pouring out his consecrated life there ; 
to his assistance came the voice of Rowlands, 
" the thunderer," as he was called. Scientific 
sermon-makers would say that Harris was no 
great preacher; but he has been described as 
the most successful and wonderful one who 
ever ascended pulpit or platform in the Princi- 
pality. By the mingling of his tears and his 
terrors, in seven years he rotfsed the whole 


<frj)e <£reat |Ubibal. 

Boston Elm. 

p. 274. 

Aftermath. 275 

country from one end to the other, north and 
south ; communicating the impulse of his zeal 
to many like-minded men, by whose impas- 
sioned words and indefatigable labours the 
work was continued with signal and lasting re- 

If the first throbbings of the coming Revival 
were felt in Northampton, in America, in 1734, 
beneath the truly awful words of the great 
Jonathan Edwards, it was from England it de- 
rived its sustenance, and assumed organisation 
and shape. The Boston Elm, a venerable tree 
near the centre of Boston Park, or common, 
whose decayed limbs are still held together by 
clamps or rivets of iron, while a railing defends 
it from rude hands, is an object as sacred to the 
traditions of Methodism in the United States, 
as is Gwennap Pit to those of Methodism in 
Western England. There Jesse Lee, the first 
founder of Methodism in New England, com- 
menced the work in 1790, which has issued in 
an organisation even more extensive and gi- 
gantic than that which is associated with the 
Conference in England. As the United States 
have inherited from the mother country their 
language, their literature, and their principles 
of law, so also those great agitations of spir- 

* See a series of papers on " Welsh Preaching and Preachers" 
in the Sunday at Home, for 1876. 

2j6 The Great Revival. 

itual life to which we have concisely referred, 
crossed the Atlantic, and spread themselves 
with power there.* 

It is not within our province to attempt to 
enumerate all the sects, each with its larger or 
lesser proportion of spiritual power, religious 
'activity, and general acceptance among the 
people, to which the Revival gave birth; — such 
as the large body of the Bible Christians of the 
West of England; the Primitive Methodists of 
the North, those who called themselves the 
New Connection Methodists, or the United 
Free Church Association. All these, and 
others, are branches from the great central 
stem. Neither is it in our province to notice 
how the same universal agitation of religious 
feeling, at exactly the same time, gave birth to 
other forms, not regarded with so much com- 
placency; — such as the rugged and faulty faith 
and following of that curious creature, William 
Huntington, who, singular to say, found also 
his best biographer in Robert Southey; or the 
strangely multifarious works and rationalistic 
development of Baron Swedenborg,which have, 
at least, the merit of giving a more spiritual 
rendering to the Christian system than that 
which was found in the prevalent Arianism of 

* See Chapter XIV., The Revival in the New World. 

Aftermath. 277 

the period of their publication. Turn wherever 
we may, it is the same. There was a deeper 
upheaving of the religious life, and far more 
widely spread, than perhaps any age of the 
world since the time of the apostles had known 

A change passed over the whole of English 
society. That social state which we find de- 
scribed in the pages of Fielding and Smollett, 
and less respectable writers, passed away, and 
passed away, we trust, for ever. The language 
of impurity indulged with freedom by the dram- 
atists of the period when the Revival arose, 
and read, and read aloud, by ladies and young 
girls in drawing-rooms, or by parlour firesides, 
became shameful and dishonoured. In the 
course of fifty years, society, if not entirely 
purged — for when may we hope for that bless- 
edness ? — was purified. A sense of religious 
decorum, and some idea of religious duty, took 
possession of homes and minds which were not 
at all impressed, either by the doctrines or the 
discipline of Methodism. All this arose from 
the new life which had been created. 

It was a fruitful soil upon which the revival- 
ists worked. There was a reverence for the 
Bible as the word of God, a faith often held 
very ignorantly, but it pervaded the land. The 
Book was there in every parish church, and in 

278 The Great Revival. 

every hamlet ; it became a kind of nexus of 
union for true minds when they felt the power 
of Divine principles. Thus, when, as the Re- 
vival strengthened itself, the great Evangelic 
party — a term which seems to us less open to 
exception than " the Methodist party," because 
far more inclusive — met with the members of 
the Society of Friends, they found that, with 
some substantial differences, they had principles 
in common. The Quakers had been long in 
the land, but excepting in their own persons — 
and they were few in number — they had not 
given much effect to their principles. Method- 
ism roused the country ; Quakerism, with its 
.more quiet thought, gave suggestions, plans, 
largely supplied money. The great works 
which these two have since unitedly accom- 
plished of educating the nation, and shaking 
off the chain of the slave abroad, neither could 
have accomplished singly ; the conscience of 
the country was prepared by Evangelic senti- 
ment. In taking up and working out the great 
ideas of the Revival, we have never been 
indifferent to the share due to members of the 
Society of Friends. We have already spoken 
of Elizabeth Fry, to whom many of the princes 
of Europe in turn paid honour, to whom with 
singular simplicity they listened as they heard 
her preach. There are many names on which 

'<$»'£■ ■ *1 

Aftermath. 279 

we should like a little to dwell ; missionaries as 
arduous and earnest as any we have mentioned, 
such as Stephen Grellet, Thomas Shillitoe, and 
Thomas Chalkley. But this would enter into 
a larger plan than we dare to entertain. Our 
object now is only to say, how greatly other 
nations, and the world at large, have benefited 
by the awakening the conscience, the setting 
free the mind, the education of the character, 
by bringing all into immediate contact with 
the Word of God and the truth which it unveils. , 

Situated as we are now, amidst the move- 
ments and agitations of uncertain seas of 
thought, wondering as to the future, with 
strong adjurations on every hand to renounce 
the Word of Life, and to trust ourselves to the 
filmy rationalism of modern speculation ; while 
we feel that for the future, and for those seas 
over which we look there are no tide-tables, we 
may, at least, safely affirm this, that the Bible 
carries us beyond the highest water-mark ; 
that, as societies have constructed themselves 
out of its principles they have built safely, not 
only for eternal hope, but for human and social 
happiness also ; and we may safely ask human 
thought — which, unaided and unenlightened 
by revelation, has had a pretty fair field for, the 
exercise and display of its power in the history 
of the world — to show to us a single chapter in 

280 The Great Revival. 

all the ages of its history, which has effected so 
much for human, spiritual, intellectual, and 
social well-being, as that which records the re- 
sults of the Great Revival of the Last Cen- 

The Revival in the New World. 281 




The labours of Whitefield had a remarkable 
influence upon the extension of the Great Re- 
vival in the colonies of America. In these 
days of mammoth steamships and rapid rail- 
ways, equipped with drawing-room coaches, 
travelling has become a pleasant pastime ; but 
a century and a half ago, when the sailing 
vessel and the old lumbering stage-coach were 
the most rapid and the chief means of public 
conveyance, and when these were often uncer- 
tain and irregular, subjecting the traveller to 
frequent and annoying delays, if not disap- 
pointments, it must have been a formidable 
undertaking to cross the Atlantic and to jour- 
ney through a new country, almost a wilder- 
ness, such long distances as from Georgia to 
Massachusetts. Yet Whitefield, with a zeal 
and a holy desire in " hunting for souls," made 
seven visits to America, crossing the ocean in 
sailing-vessels thirteen times ("one voyage 
lasting eleven weeks"), and travelled on his 

282 The Great Revival. 

preaching tours almost constantly. In one of 
these visits he went upwards of 1,100 miles 
through this then sparsely settled country, and 
endured hardships and exposures from which a 
far stronger and more vigorous constitution 
might well shrink. 

As in England, so in the American colonies, 
the decay of vital godliness which preceded 
the great awakening had been long and deep. 
It began in the latter part of the 17th century, 
and its progress was observed with alarm by 
many of the notable and godly men of the day. 
Governor Stoughton, previous to resigning the 
pulpit for the bench, proclaimed, at Boston, 
that " many had become like Joash after the 
death of Jehoiada — rotten, hypocritical, and a 
lie !" The venerable Torrey of Weymouth, in 
a sermon before the legislature, exclaimed, 
4 'There is already a great death upon religion; 
little more left than a name to live. It is dying 
as to the being of it, by the general failure of 
the work of conversion." 

Mather, in 1700, asserts : " If the begun 
apostasy should proceed as fast the next thirty 
years as it has done these last, it will come to 
that in New England (except the gospel itself 
depart with the order of it) that churches must 
be gathered out of churches." President Wil- 
lard also published a sermon in the same year 

The Revival in the New World. 283 

on "The Perils of the Times Displayed," in 
which he asks, "Whence is there such a preva- 
lency of so many immoralities amongst pro- 
fessors ? Why so little success of the gospel ? 
How few thorough conversions to be ob- 
served; how scarce and seldom! * * It has been 
a frequent observation that if one generation 
begins to decline, the next that follows usually 
grows worse ; and so on, until God pours out 
his spirit again upon them." 

It was thirty years before the dawn of the 
great awakening began to appear, even in the 
colony of Massachusetts; but there were many 
godly men in various portions of the American 
colonies who had not yet bowed the knee to the 
Baal of worldliness, and who earnestly sought, 
by great fidelity in the presentation of the 
truth, to arrest the evil tendency of the times. 
Among them was that greatest of American 
theologians, Jonathan Edwards. Beholding 
the melancholy state of religion, not only at 
Northampton, but in the surrounding regions, 
and that this evil tendency was corrupting the 
Church, he began to preach with greater bold- 
ness, more especially with the purpose of 
keeping error out of the Church than with the 
design of awakening sinners. He was a man, 
however, whose convictions were exceedingly 
strong, and who preached the truth, not simply 

284 The Great Revival. 

for the purpose of gaining a worldly victory, 
but because he loved the truth and the Spirit 
wrought mightily by it. A surprising work of 
grace attended his preaching. There was a 
melting down of all classes and ages, in an 
overwhelming solicitude about salvation ; an 
absorbing sense of eternal realities and self- 
abasement and self-condemnation ; a spirit of 
secret and social prayer, followed by a concern 
for the souls of others; and this awakening was 
so sudden and solemn, that in many instances 
it produced loud outcries, and in some cases 
convulsions. Doubtless this great awakening 
was as much a surprise to Edwards as to those 
to whom he ministered. Naturally, such a 
wonderful work could not be confined to 
Northampton alone ; it began to extend to 
other places in the colony. Remarkable and 
widespread as this work of grace was, however, 
it does not seem to have penetrated through 
New England generally, until after the arrival 
of Whitefield. The effect of Whitefield's preach- . 
ing in Boston, says his biographer, was amaz- ' 
ing. Old Mr. Walter, the successor of Eliot, 
the apostle to the Indians, declared it was Puri- 
tanism revived. So great was the interest 
that his farewell sermon was attended by 
twenty thousand persons. "Such a power and 
presence of God with a preacher, and in re- 

The Revival in the New World. 285 

ligious assemblies," says Dr. Colman, "'I 
never saw before. Every day gives me fresh 
proofs of Christ speaking in him." And this 
interest, great as it was, seemed, if possible, 
exceeded at Northampton when Whitefield 
met Edwards and reminded his people of the 
days of old. A like success attended White- 
field's ministry in the town and college of 
New Haven, and at Harvard College the effect 
was remarkable. Secretary Willard, writing 
to Whitefield, says: "That which forebodes 
the most lasting advantage is the new state of 
things in the college, where the impressions of 
religion have been and still are very general, 
and many in a judgment of charity brought 
home to Christ. Divers gentlemen's sons that 
were sent there only for a more polite educa- 
tion, are now so full of zeal for the cause of 
Christ and the love of souls as to devote them- 
selves entirely to the study of divinity." And 
Dr. Colman wrote Whitefield, of Cambridge : 
" The college is entirely changed ; the stu- 
dents are full of God, and will, I hope, come 
out blessings in their generation, and I trust 
are so now to each other. The voice of prayer 
and praise fills their chambers, and sincerity, 
fervency, and joy, with seriousness of heart, sit 
visible on their faces." 

On his return to Boston, in 1745, Whitefield 

286 The Great Revival. 

himself gives a similar testimony in regard to 
the remarkable results of the Revival. -He was 
followed in his labours there by Gilbert Ten- 
nent, a Presbyterian from New Jersey. That 
this was not an overdrawn picture of the work 
may be inferred from a public testimony given 
by three of the leading ministers in Boston, the 
Rev. Messrs. Prince, Webb, and Cooper. 
Among other things, they said, " The wondrous 
work of God at this day making its triumphant 
progress through the land has forced many men 
of clear minds, strong powers, considerable 
knowledge, and firmly riveted in * * * * 
Socinian tenets, to give them all up at once 
and yield to the adorable sovereignty and 
irresistibility of the Divine Spirit in His saving 
operations on the souls of men. For to see 
such men as these, some of them of licentious 
lives, long inured in a course of vice and of 
high spirits, coming to the preaching of the 
Word, some only out of curiosity, and mere de- 
sign to get matter of cavilling and banter, all 
at once, in opposition to their inward resolu- 
tions and resistances, to fall under an unex- 
pected and hated power, to have all the 
strength of their resolution and resistance taken 
away, to have such inward views of the horrid 
wickedness not only of their lives but of their 
hearts, with their exceeding great and immedi- 

The Revival in the New World. 287 

ate danger of eternal misery as has amazed 
their souls and thrown them into distress 
unutterable, yea, forced them to cry out in the 
assemblies with the greatest agonies, and then, 
in two or three days, and sometimes sooner, 
to have such unexpected and raised views of 
the infinite grace and love of God in Christ, as 
have enabled them to believe in Him ; lifted 
them at once out of their distress ; filled 
their hearts with admiration and joy unspeak- 
able and full of glory, breaking forth in their 
shining countenances and transporting voices 
to the surprise of those about them, kindling 
up at once into a flame of love to God in utter 
detestation of their former courses and vicious 
habits," fairly characterises this wonderful work 
of God. 

Gilbert Tennent, who was pressed into the 
field by Whitefield, was born in Ireland, and 
brought to this country by his father, and was 
educated for the ministry. As a preacher he 
was, in his vigorous days, equalled by few. 
His reasoning powers were strong, his language 
was forcible and often sublime, and his manner 
of address warm and earnest. His eloquence 
was, however, rather bold and awful than soft 
and persuasive, he was most pungent in his 
address to the conscience. When he wished to 
alarm the sinner, he could represent in the 

288 The Great Revival. 

most awful manner the terrors of the Lord. 
With admirable dexterity he exposed the false 
hope of the hypocrite, and searched the corrupt 
heart to the bottom. Such were some of the 
qualifications of the man whom Whitefield 
chose to continue his work in America. He 
entered on his new labours with almost rustic 
simplicity, wearing his hair undressed and a 
large great-coat girt with a leathern girdle. 
He was of lofty stature and dignified and grave 
aspect. His career as a preacher in New Jersey 
had been remarkable, and now in New England 
his ministry was hardly less successful than 
that of Whitefield. He actually shook the 
country as with an earthquake. Wherever he 
came hypocrisy and Pharisaism either fell 
before him or gnashed their teeth against him. 
Cold orthodoxy also started from her downy 
cushion to imitate or to denounce him. So testi- 
fies the author of the "Life and Tii7ies of 

Whitefield's first reception in New York was 
not particularly flattering. He was refused the 
use of both the church and the court-house. " The 
commissary of the Bishop," he says, "was full 
of anger and resentment, and denied me the use 
of his pulpit before I asked him for it." He re- 
plied, " I will preach in the fields, for all places 
are alike to me." At a subsequent visit he 

The Revival in the New World. 289 

preached there seven weeks with great accept- 
ableness and success. Even his first labours 
were not wholly in vain. Dr. Pemberton wrote 
to him that many were deeply affected, and 
some who had been loose and profligate were 
ashamed and set upon thorough reformation. 
The printers also at New York, as at Phila- 
delphia, applied to him for sermons to publish, 
assuring him that hundreds had called for 
them, and that thousands would purchase them. 
Of his later visit he says, "Such flocking of all 
ranks I never saw before." At New York 
many of the most respectable gentlemen and 
merchants went home with him after his .ser- 
mons to hear something more of the kingdom 
of Christ. 

" At Philadelphia," says Philip, in his Life 
and Times of Whitefield, " his welcome was 
cordial. Ministers and laymen of all denomi- 
nations visited him, inviting him to preach. 
He was especially pleased to find that they 
preferred sermons when not delivered within 
church walls. It was well they did, for his 
fame had reached the city before he arrived and 
this collected crowds which no church could 
contain. The court-house steps became his 
pulpit, and neither he nor the people wearied, 
although the cold winds of November blew 
upon them night after night." Previous to one 

290 The Great Revival. 

of his visits in Philadelphia, a place was erected 
in which Whitefield could preach, and its 
managers offered him £800 annually, with 
liberty to travel six months in a year wherever 
he chose, if he would become their pastor. 
Though pleased with the offer he promptly 
declined it. He was more pleased to learn that 
in consequence of a former visit there were so 
many under soul-sickness that even Gilbert 
Tennent's feet were blistered with walking 
from place to place to see them. 

Of his work in Maryland he writes, that he 
found those who had never heard of redeeming 
grace. The harvest is promising. " Have 
Marylanders also received the grace of God ? 
Amazing love. Maryland is yielding converts 
to Jesus ; the Gospel is moving southwards." 

He frequently visited New Jersey (Prince- 
ton) College, and there won many young 
and bright witnesses for Christ. Hearing that 
sixteen students had been converted at a 
former visit, he again went thither to fan the 
flame he had kindled among the students, and 
says that he had four sweet seasons which 
resembled old times. His spirits rose at the 
sight of the young soldiers who were to fight 
when he fell. 

Although at times prejudice ran high against 
the Indians, Whitefield espoused their cause as 

The Revival in the New World. 291 

a philanthropist, and preached to them through 
interpreters at the Indian school of Lebanon, 
under Dr. Wheelock, where the sight of a prom- 
ising nursery for future missionaries greatly 
inspired him. And at one of the stations 
maintained by the sainted Brainerd, he 
preached, found converted Indians, and saw 
nearly fifty young ones in one school learning 
a Bible catechism. In the Indian school at 
Lebanon he became so interested that he 
appealed to the public and collected .£120 at 
one meeting for its maintenance. Wherever 
he went he saw the Redeemer's stately steps 
in the great congregations which he addressed. 
If there was any one point about which 
Whitefield's interest centered in America, it 
was in the orphan asylum which he aided in 
establishing in Georgia. This was his "Beth- 
esda." The prosperity of the orphan home 
was engraved upon his heart as with the point 
of a diamond, and it was ever vividly present to 
him wherever he went. At one of his visits 
on parting with the inmates he says : " Oh, 
what a sweet meeting I had with my dear 
friends ! What God has prepared for me I 
know not ; but surely I cannot expect a greater 
happiness until I embrace the saints in glory ! 
When I parted my heart was ready to break 
with sorrow, but now it almost bursts with joy. 

292 The Great Revival. 

Oh, how did each in turn hang- upon my neck, 
kiss and weep over me with tears of joy ! And 
my own soul was so full of the sense of God's 
love, when I embraced one friend in particular, 
that I thought I should have expired in the place. 
I felt my soul so full of the sense of Divine 
goodness that I wanted words to express my- 
self. When we came to public worship, young 
and old were all dissolved in tears. After 
service several of my parishioners, all of my 
family, and the little children returned home 
crying along the street, and some could not avoid 
praying very loud. Being very weak in body 
I laid myself upon a bed, but finding so many 
in a weeping condition I rose and betook myself 
to prayer again, but had I not lifted up my 
voice very high the groans and cries of the 
children would have prevented me from being 
heard. This continued for near an hour, till at 
last, finding their concern rather to increase 
than to abate, I desired all to retire. Then 
some or other might be heard praying earnestly 
i in every corner of the house. It happened at 
this time to thunder and lighten, which added 
very much to the solemnity of the night. * * I 
mention the orphans in particular, that their 
benefactors may rejoice at what God is doing 
for their souls." 

It is evident that Whitefield had a very 

The Revival in the New World. 293 

tender heart towards all children. One of his 
most effective sermons at Webb's Chapel, 
Boston, was occasioned by the touching remark 
of a dying boy, who had heard him the day 
before. The boy was taken ill after the ser- 
mon, and said, " I want to go to Mr. White- 
field's God" — and expired. THis touched the 
secret place of both the thunder and the tears 
of Whitefield. He says, " It encouraged me to 
speak to the little ones, but oh, how were the 
old people affected when I said, * Little child- 
ren, if your parents will not come to Christ, do 
you come and go to heaven without them.'" 
After this awful appeal no wonder that there 
were but few dry eyes. 

Another remarkable evidence of the extent 
and power of the Revival, and of the versatil- 
ity of Mr. Whitefield's talents, is shown in 
the effect produced upon the negro mind. 
The intensest interest prevailed among even 
the poorest slaves. Upon one occasion White- 
field was very ill, and in the hands of the phy- 
sician to the time when he was expected to 
preach. Suddenly he exclaimed, " My pains 
are suspended ; by the help of God I will go 
and preach, and then come home and die !" 
With some difficulty he reached the pulpit. All 
were surprised, and looked as though they saw 
one risen from the dead. He says of himself, "I 

294 The Great Revival. 

was as pale as death, and told them they must 
look upon me as a dying man come to bear my 
dying testimony to the truths I had formerly 
preached to them. All seemed melted, and 
were drowned in tears. The cry after me when 
I left the pulpit was like the cry of sincere! 
mourners when attending the funeral of a dear 
departed friend. Upon my coming home, 
I was laid upon a bed upon the ground near 
the fire, and I heard them say, ' He is gone !' 
but God was pleased to order it otherwise. I 
gradually recovered." At this time a poor 
negro woman insisted upon seeing him when 
he began to recover. She came in and sat on 
the ground, and looked earnestly into his face; 
then she said, in broken accents : " Massa, you 
jest go to hebben's gate ; but Jesus Christ said, 
' Get you down, get you down ; you musn't 
come here yet; go first and call some more poor 
negroes.' " Many colored people came to him 
asking, " Have I a soul ?" Many societies for 
prayer and mutual instruction were set up. Mr. 
Seward, a travelling companion of Whitefield, j 
relates that a drinking club, whereof a clergy- 
man was a member, had a negro boy attending 
them, who used to mimic people for their diver- 
sion. They called on him to mimic Whitefield, 
which he was very unwilling to do ; but they 
insisted upon it. He stood up and said : — " I 

The Revival in the New World. 295 

speak the truth in Christ, I lie not, unless you 
repent you will all be damned." Seward adds, 
" This unexpected speech broke up the club, 
which has never met since." 

At Savannah, Charleston, and other southern 
cities, the Great Revival had a remarkable suc- 
cess. Josiah Smith, an Independent minister 
of Charleston, published a sermon on the 
character and preaching of Whitefield, defend- 
ing his doctrines, his personal character, and 
describing his manner of preaching. Of White- 
field's power he says : " He is certainly a 
finished preacher; a noble negligence ran 
through his style ; the passion and flame of his in- 
spiration will, I trust, be long felt by many. How 
was his tongue like the pen of a ready writer, 
touched as with a coal from the altar ! With 
what a flow of words, what a ready profusion of 
language did he speak to us upon* the concerns 
of our souls ! In what a flaming light did he 
set our eternity before us ! How earnestly he 
pressed Christ upon us ! The awe, the silence, 
the attention, which sat upon the faces of the 
great audience was an argument, how he could 
reign over all their powers. Many thought he 
spake as never man spake before him. So 
charmed were the people with the manner of 
his address that they shut up their shops, for- 
got their secular business, and the oftener he 

296 The Great Revival. 

preached the keener edge he seemed to put 
upon their desires to hear him again. How 
awfully — with what thunder and sound — did he 
discharge the artillery of heaven upon us ! 
Eternal themes, the tremendous solemnities of 
our religion were all alive upon his tongue. He 
struck at the politest and most modish of our 
vices, and at the most fashionable entertain- 
ments, regardless of every one's presence but 
His in whose name he spake with this author- 
ity. And I dare warrant if none should go to 
these diversions until they had answered the 
solemn questions he put to their consciences, 
our theatres would soon sink and perish." Mr. 
Smith adds that £600 were contributed in 
Charleston to the orphan house. 

The wonderful quickening which the Great 
Revival gave to benevolent and charitable 
enterprises deserves at least a passing allusion. 
Besides sending forth into mission work such 
men as David Brainerd, and even Jonathan 
Edwards himself, it also laid the foundation 
more securely of many of our Christian colleges, 
and of not a few of our orphan asylums. White- 
field founded his Bethesda upon a tract of land 
covering about 500 acres, ten miles from Sa- 
vannah, and laid out the plan of the building, 
employed workmen, hired a large house, took, 
in 24 orphans, incurred at once the heavy 

The Revival in the New World. 297 

responsibilities of a large family and a larger 
institution, encouraged, as he says, by the 
example of Professor Francke. Yet on looking 
back to this first undertaking he said : " I for- 
got that Professor Francke built in a populous 
country and that I was building at the very tail 
end of the world, which rendered it by far the 
most expensive part of all his Majesty's domin- 
ions ; but had I received more and ventured 
less, I should have suffered less and others 
more." He undertook to provide for his 40 
orphans and 60 servants and workmen with no 
fears nor misgivings of heart. " Near a hundred 
mouths," he writes, " are daily to be supplied 
with food. The expense is great, but our great 
and good God, I am persuaded, will enable me 
to defray it." He spent a winter at Bethesda 
in 1764, and of the success of his orphanage he 
says, "Peace and plenty reign at Bethesda ; all 
things go on successfully. God has given me 
great favour in the sight of the governor, coun- 
cil, and assembly. A memorial was presented 
for an additional grant of land consisting of 
about 2,000 acres, and was immediately com- 
plied with. Every heart seems to leap for joy 
at the prospect of its future utility to this and 
the neighbouring colonies." 

This great religious movement did not pro- 
gress without stirring up much bitterness. It 

298 The Great Revival. 

was even asserted by President Clap, of New 
Haven, that he came into New England to 
turn out the generality of their ministers, and to 
replace them with ministers from England, 
Ireland, and Scotland. " Such a thought," 
replies Whitefield, " never entered my heart, 
neither has, as I know of, my preaching any 
such tendency." It is said of one minister that 
he went merely to pick a hole in Whitefield's 
coat, but confessed that God picked a hole in 
his heart, and afterward healed it by the blood 
of Christ. After one of his visits not less 
than twenty ministers in the neighbourhood of 
Boston did not hesitate to call Whitefield their 
spiritual father, tracing their conversion to his 
preaching. These men immediately entered 
upon a similar work, spreading the great 
awakening throughout that colony. 

In the progress of this work under Whitefield 
and others, there were frequent outbursts of 
wit and grim humor. Thus when pastors were 
shy of giving Whitefield and his associates a 
place in their pulpits and the people voted to 
allow them to preach in their churches, White- ' 
field said, " The /^r^-brethren of New England 
could tyrannize as well as the /^r^-bishops of 
Old England." The caricatures issued from 
Boston in regard to the work were designated 
as half-penny squibs ; and a good old Puritan 
of the city said, " they did not weigh much." 

The Revival in the New World. 299 

Of the religion of America Whitefield writes : 
" I am more and more in love with the good 
old Puritans. I am pleased at the thought of 
sitting down hereafter with the venerable 
„ Cotton, Norton, Eliot, and that great cloud of 
witnesses who first crossed the western ocean 
for the sake of the sacred gospel and the faith 
once delivered to the saints. At present my 
soul is so filled .that I can scarce proceed." 
Again he writes : " It is too much for one man 
to be received as I have been by thousands. 
The thoughts of it lay me low but I cannot get 
low enough. I would willingly sink into 
nothing before the blessed Jesus — my all in all." 
And again, " I love those that thunder out the 
Word. The Christian world is in a deep sleep, 
nothing but a loud voice can awaken them out 
of it. Had we a thousand hands and tongues 
there is employment enough for them all. 
People are everywhere ready to perish for 
lack of knowledge. To an aged veteran he 
writes from North Carolina, " I am here hunt- 
ing in the woods — these ungospelized wilds — for 
sinners. It is pleasant work, though my body 
is weak and crazy. But after a short fermenta- 
tion in the grave, it will be fashioned like unto 
Christ's glorious body. The thought of this 
rejoices my soul and makes me long to leap my 
seventy years. I sometimes think all will go to 

300 The Great Revival. 

heaven before me. Pray for me as a dying man, 
but, oh, pray that I may not go off as a snuff. 
I would fain die blazing — not with human glory, 
but with the love of Jesus." Such was the 
spirit filling the great souls of those who were 
God's instruments in spreading the revival in 
America. Mr. Whitefield died at Newbury- 
port, Massachusetts, Sept. 30, 1770, having 
preached the day before at Exeter, and his body 
rests in a crypt or tomb beneath the Presbyte- 
rian church at that place. 

Of the effects of the Great Revival in 
America, Dr. Abel Stevens says, " The Con- 
gregational churches of New England, the 
Presbyterians and Baptists of the Middle States, 
and the mixed colonies of the South, owe their 
late religious life and energy mostly to the 
impulse given by his [Whitefield's] powerful 
ministrations." * * * In Pennsylvania and New 
Jersey, where Frelinghuysen, Blair, Rowland, 
and the two Tennents had been labouring with 
evangelistic zeal, he was received as a prophet 
of God, and it was then that the Presbyterian 
Church took that attitude of evangelical power 
and aggression which has ever since character- 
ized it." 

A single incident will illustrate the effect of 
the Revival upon unbelievers and skeptics. A 
noted officer of Philadelphia, who had long 

The Revival in the New World. 301 , 

been almost an atheist, crept into the crowd 
one night to hear a sermon on the visit of 
Nicodemus to Christ. When he came home, 
his wife not knowing where he had been, 
wished he had heard what she had been hear- 
ing. He said nothing. Another and another 
of his family came in and made a similar remark 
till he burst into tears and said, " I have been 
hearing him and approve of his sermon." He 
afterwards became a sincere Christian with the 
spirit of a martyr. 

These etchings of a few scenes and fewer 
facts indicate the scope, the depth, and the 
sweep of the Great Revival of the 1 8th century 
in America. No attempt has been made to 
sum up its results, nor has it come within the 
purpose of this work to give an inward history 
of the movement, nor to explain the philosophy 
of it. These intricate questions may be left to 
philosophers; the Christian delights to know 
the facts ; he will cheerfully wait for the future 
life to unfold all the mystery and philosophy of 
the plan and work of salvation. Then, as 
Whitefield exclaims, " What amazing mysteries 
will be unfolded when each link in the golden 
chain of providence and grace shall be seen and 
scanned by beatified spirits in the kingdom of 
heaven ! Then all will appear symmetry and 
harmony, and even the most intricate and 

302 The Great Revival. 

seemingly most contrary dispensations, will be 
evidenced to be the result of infinite and con- 
summate wisdom, power, and love. Above all, 
there the believer will see the infinite depths of 
that mystery of godliness, ■ God manifested in 
the flesh,' and join with that blessed choir, who, 
with a restless unweariedness, are ever singing 
the song of Moses and the Lamb." 

APPENDIX A (Pages 9 and 97). 

The Puritans were men whose minds had derived a peculiar 
character from the daily contemplation of superior beings and 
eternal interests. Not content with acknowledging, in general 
terms, an overruling Providence, they habitually ascribed every 
event to the will of the Great Being, for whose power nothing was 
too vast, for whose inspection nothing was too minute. To know 
him, to serve him, to enjoy him, was, with them, the great end 
of existence. They rejected, with contempt, the ceremonious 
homage which other sects substituted for the pure worship of 
the soul. Instead of catching occasional glimpses of the Deity 
through an obscuring veil, they aspired to gaze full on his intol- 
erable brightness, and to commune with him face to face. Hence 
originated their contempt for terrestrial distinctions. The differ- 
ence between the greatest and the meanest of mankind seemed 
to vanish, when compared with the boundless interval which 
separated the whole race from Him on whom their own eyes were 
constantly fixed. They recognized no title to superiority but His 
favor ; and, confident of that favor, they despised all the accom- 
plishments and all the dignities of the world. If they were un- 
acquainted with the works of philosophers and poets, they were 
deeply read in the oracles of God. If their names were not found 
in the registers of heralds, they were recorded in the Book of 
Life. If their steps were not accompanied by a splendid train 
of menials, legions of ministering angels had charge over them. 
Their palaces were houses not made with hands ; their diadems 
crowns of glory which should never fade away. On the rich and 
the eloquent, on nobles or priests they looked down with con- 
tempt, for they esteemed themselves rich in a more precious 
measure, and eloquent in a more sublime language — nobles by 
right of an earlier creation, and priests by the imposition of a 
mightier hand. The very meanest of them was a being to whose 
fate a mysterious and terrible importance belonged, on whose 
slightest action the spirits of light and darkness looked with 
anxious interest, who had been destined, before Heaven and 

304 Appendix, 

earth were created, to enjoy a felicity which should continue 
when heaven and earth should have passed aAvay. Events 
which short-sighted politicians ascribed to earthly causes, had 
been ordained on his account. For his sake empires had risen, 
and flourished, and decayed. For his sake the Almighty had 
proclaimed His will by the pen of the Evangelist, and the harp 
of the prophet. He had been wrested by no common deliverer 
from the grasp of no common foe. He had been ransomed by 
the sweat of no vulgar agony, by the blood of no earthly sacrifice. 
It was for him that the sun had been darkened, that the rocks 
had been rent, that the dead had risen, that all nature had 
shuddered at the sufferings of her expiring God. 

Thus the Puritan was made up of two different men : the one 
all self-abasement, penitence, gratitude, passion ; the other 
proud, calm, inflexible, sagacious. He prostrated himself in the 
dust before his Maker, but he set his foot on the neck of his 
king. In his devotional retirement, he prayed with convulsions, 
and groans and tears. He Avas half maddened by glorious or 
terrible illusions. He heard the lyres of angels or the tempting 
whispers of fiends. He caught a gleam of the Beatific Vision, 
or woke screaming from dreams of everlasting fire. Like Vane, 
he thought himself entrusted with the sceptre of the millennial 
year. Like Fleetwood, he cried in the bitterness of his soul that 
God had hid His face from him. But when he took his seat 
in the council, or girt on his sword for war, these tempestuous 
workings of the soul had left no perceptible trace behind them. 
People who saw nothing of the godly but their uncouth visages, 
and heard nothing from them but their groans and their whining 
hymns, might laugh at them. But those had little reason to 
laugh who encountered them in the hall of debate, or on the field 
of battle. These fanatics brought to civil and military affairs a 
coolness of judgment and an immutability of purpose which 
Borne writers have thought inconsistent with their religious zeal, 
but which were in fact the necessary effects of it. The intensity 
of their feelings on one subject made them tranquil on every 
other. One overpowering sentiment had subjected to itself pity 
and hatred, ambition and fear. Death had lost its terrors and 
pleasure its charms. They had their smiles and their tears, 
their raptures and their sorrows, but not for the things of this 
world. Enthusiasm had made them stoics, had cleared their 

Appendix. 305 

minds from every vulgar passion and prejudice, and raised 
them above the influence of danger and of corruption. It some- 
times might lead them to pursue unwise ends, but never to 
choose unwise means. They went through the world, like Sir 
Artegal's iron man Talus with his flail, crushing and trampling 
down oppressors, mingling with human beings, but having 
neither part nor lot in human infirmities, insensible to fatigue, 
to pleasure, and to pain, not to be pierced by any weapon, not to 
be withstood by any barrier.— Macaulay's Essay on Milton. 

APPENDIX B (Page 21). 

" { The Vicar of Wakefield ' is a domestic epic. Its hero is a 
country parson — simple, pious and pure-hearted — a humorist in 
his way, a little vain of his learning, a little proud of his fine 
family — sometimes rather sententious, never pedantic, and a 
dogmatist only on the one favorite topic of monogamy, which 
crops out now and then above the surface of his character, only 
to give it a new charm. Its world is a rural district, beyond 
whose limits the action rarely passes, and that only on great oc- 
casions. Domestic affections and joys, relieved by its cares, its 
foibles, and its little failings, cluster around the parsonage, till 
the storms from the outward world invade its holiness and trou- 
ble its peace. Then comes sorrow and suffering; and we have 
the hero, like the patriarchal prince of the land of Uz, when the 
Lord ' put forth His hand and touched all that He had,' meeting 
each new affliction with meekness and with patience — rising from 
each new trial with renewed reliance upon God, till the lowest 
depth of his earthly suffering becomes the highest elevation of 
his moral strength." 

APPENDIX C (Page 28). 

The most interesting phases which the Beformation anywhere 
assumes, especially for us English, is that of Puritanism. In 
Luther's own country, Protestantism soon dwindled into a rather 
barren affair, not a religion or faith, but rather now a theologi- 
cal jangling of argument, the proper seat of it not the heart ; the 

306 Appendix. 

essence of it skeptical contention ; which, indeed, has jangled 
more and more, down to Voltairism itself; through Gustavus 
Adolphus contentions onward to Erench-Re volution cries ! But 
on our island there arose a Puritanism, which even got itself es- 
tablished as a Presbyterianism and national church among the 
Scotch ; which came forth as a real business of the heart ; and 
has produced in the world very notable fruit. In some senses 
one may say it is the only phase of Protestantism that ever got to 
the rank of being a faith, a true communication with Heaven, 
and of exhibiting itself in history as such. We must spare a few 
words for Knox ; himself a brave and remarkable man ; but 
still more important as chief priest and founder, which one may 
consider him to be, of the faith that became Scotland's, New 
England's, Oliver Cromwell's. History will have something to 
say about this for some time to come ! 

We may censure Puritanism as we please ; and no one of us, I 
suppose, but would find it a very rough, defective thing; but 
we, and all men, may understand that it was a genuine thing ; 
for nature has adopted it, and it has grown and grows. I say 
sometimes that all goes by wager of battle in this world ; that 
strength, well understood, is the measure of all worth. Give a 
thing time ; if it can succeed, it is a right thing. Look now at 
American Saxondom ; and at that little fact of the sailing of the 
Mayflower, two hundred years ago, from Delft Haven, in Hol- 
land ! Were we of open sense, as the Greeks were, we had 
found a poem here ; one of nature's own poems, such as she 
writes in broad facts over great continents. For it was properly 
the beginning of America : there were straggling settlers in 
America before, some material as of a body was there ; but the 
soul of it was first this. These poor men, driven out of their 
own country, not able well to live in Holland, determined on 
settling in the New World. Black, untamed forests are there, 
and wild, savage creatures ; but not so cruel as star-chamber 
hangmen. They thought the earth would yield them food, if they 
tilled honestly ; the everlasting Heaven would stretch there, too, 
overhead ; they should be left in peace, to prepare for Eternity 
by living well in this world of time ; worshipping in what they 
thought the true, not the idolatrous way. They clubbed their 
small means together ; hired a ship, the little ship Mayflower, 
and made ready to set sail. In NeaVs History of the Furitans is 

Appendix. 307 

an account of the ceremony of their departure ; solemnity, we 
might call it, rather, for it was a real act of worship. Their 
minister went down with them to the beach, and their brethren, 
whom they were to leave behind ; all joined in solemn prayer 
that God would have pity on His poor children, and go with 
them into that waste wilderness, for He also had made that, He 
was there also as well as here. Hah ! These men, I think, had 
a work ! The weak thing, weaker than a child, becomes strong 
one day, if it be a true thing. Puritanism was only despicable, 
laughable then ; but nobody can manage to laugh at it now. 
Puritanism has got weapons and sinews ; it has fire-arms, war 
navies ; it has cunning in its ten fingers, strength in its right 
arm : it can steer ships, fell forests, remove mountains; it is one 
of the strongest things under this sun at present l-—Carlyle on 
Heroes, Hero-worship and the Heroic in History. 

APPENDIX D (Page 36). 

It has been said of Lady Huntingdon that " almost from infan- 
cy an uncommon seriousness shaded the natural gladness of her 
childhood," and that, without any positive religious instruction, 
for none knew her " inward sorrows," when she was a "little 
girl, nor were there any around her who could have led her to 
the balm there is in Galead," she devoutly and diligently 
searched the Scriptures, if haply she might find that precious 
something which her soul craved. 

During the first years of her married life (she was married at 
the age of 21 and in the year 1728), " her chief endeavor * * 
* * was to maintain a conscience void of offense. She strove 
to fulfill the various duties of her position with scrupulous ex- 
actness ; she was sincere, just and upright ; she prayed, fasted 
and gave alms; she was courteous, considerate and charitable." 

Her husband, Lord Huntingdon, had a sister, Lady Margaret 
Hastings, who, under the preaching of Mr. Ingham, in Leclstone 
Church in Yorkshire, was converted. Afterwards, when visiting 
her brother, these words were uttered by her: " Since I have 
known and believed in the Lord Jesus for salvation, I have been 
as happy as an angel." The expression was strange to Lady 
Huntingdon— it alarmed her— she sought to work out a right- 

308 Appendix. 

eousness of her own, but the effort only widened the breach be- 
tween herself and God. "Thus harassed by inward conflicts, 
Lady Huntingdon was thrown upon a sick bed, and after many 
days and nights seemed hastening to the grave. The fear of 
death fell terribly upon her." 

In that condition the words of Lady Margaret recurred with a 
new meaning. " I too will wholly cast myself on Jesus Christ 
for life and salvation," was her last refuge ; and from her bed 
she lifted up her heart to God for pardon and mercy through 
the blood of His Son. " Lord, I believe ; help Thou mine unbe- 
lief," was her prayer. Doubt and distress vanished and joy and 
peace filled her bosom. — From "Lady Huntingdon and her 
Friends" Compiled by Mrs. Helen C. Knighl. 

APPENDIX E (Page 71). 

"It is easier to justify the heads of the restored Clergy upon 
this point [want of uniformity or unity in the Church of Eng- 
land], than to excuse them for appropriating to themselves the 
wealth which, in consequence of the long protracted calamities 
of the nation, was placed at their disposal. The leases of the 
church lands had almost all fallen in ; there had been no re- 
newal for twenty years, and the fines which were now raised 
amounted to about a million and a half. Some of this money 
was expended in repairing, as far as was reparable, that havoc 
in churches and cathedrals which the fanatics had made in their 
abominable reign ; some also was disposed of in ransoming Eng- 
lish slaves from the Barbary pirates ; but the greater part went 
to enrich individuals and build up families, instead of being em- 
ployed, as it ought to have been, in improving the condition of 
the inferior clergy. Queen Anne applied the tenths and first 
fruits to this most desirable object ; but the effect of her aug- 
mentation was slow and imperceptible : they continued in a 
state of degrading poverty, and that poverty was another cause 
of the declining influence of the Church, and the increasing irre- 
ligion of the people. 

A further cause is to be found in the relaxation of discipline. 
In the Bomish days it had been grossly abused ; and latterly 
also it had been brought into general abhorrence and contempt 

Appendix. 309 

by the tyrannical measures of Laud on one side, and the ab- 
surd yigor of Puritanism on the other. The clergy had lost that 
authority which may always command at least the appearance 
of respect ; and they had lost that respect also by which the 
place of authority may sometimes so much more worthily be 
supplied. Tor the loss of power they were not censurable ; but 
if they possessed little of that influence which the minister who 
1 diligently and conscientiously discharges his duty will certainly 
acquire, it is manifest that, as a body, they must have been cul- 
pably remiss. From the Restoration to the accession of the 
House of Hanover, the English Church could boast of some of 
its brightest ornaments and ablest defenders ; men who have 
neither been surpassed in piety, nor in erudition, nor in indus- 
try, nor in eloquence, nor in strength and subtlety of mind : and 
when the design for re-establishing popery in these kingdoms 
was systematically pursued, to them we are indebted for that 
calm and steady resistance, by which our liberties, civil as well 
as religious, were preserved. But in the great majority of the 
clergy zeal was awanting. The excellent Leighton spoke of the 
Church as a fair carcass without a spirit; in doctrine, in worship, 
and in the main part of its government, he thought it the best 
constituted in the world, but one of the most corrupt in its ad- 
ministration. And Burnet observes, that in his time our clergy 
had less authority, and were under more contempt, than those 
of any other church in Europe ; for they were much the most 
remiss in their labors; and the least severe in their lives. It 
was not that their lives were scandalous ; he entirely acquitted 
them of any such imputation ; but they .were not exemplary as 
it became them to be : and in the sincerity and grief of a pious 
and reflecting mind, he pronounced that they should never re- 
gain the influence which they had lost, till they lived better and 
labored more." — Southey's Life of Wesley. 

APPENDIX F (Pages 73 and 98). 

"The observant Frenchman to whom we have several times 
referred, M. Grosley, says of the 'sect of the Methodists,' 'this 
establishment has borne all the persecutions that it could possi- 
bly apprehend in a country as much disposed to persecution as 

3 io Appendix. 

England is the reverse.' The light literature of forty years over- 
flows with ridicule of Methodism. The preachers are pelted by 
the mob ; the converts are held up to execration as fanatics or 
hypocrites. Yet Methodism held the ground it had gained. It 
had gone forth to utter the words of truth to men little above the 
beasts that perish, and it had brought them to regard them- 
selves as akin to humanity. The time would come when its ear- 
nestness would awaken the Church itself from its somnolency, 
and the educated classes would not be ashamed to be religious. 
There was wild enthusiasm enough in some of the followers of 
Whitefield and "Wesley ; much self seeking ; zeal verging upon 
profaneness ; moral conduct strongly opposed to pious profes- 
sion. But these earnest men left a mark upon their time which 
can never be effaced. The obscure young students at Oxford in 
1736, who were first called ' Sacramentarians,' then 'Bible 
moths,' and finally 'Methodists, to whom the regular pulpits 
were closed, and who went forth to preach in the fields — who 
separated from the Church more in form than in reality — pro- 
duced a moral revolution in England which probably saved us 
from the fate of nations wholly abandoned to their own devices." 
— From Knight's History of England. 

APPENDIX (Pages 97 and 98). 
(See Appendix A and F.) 

APPENDIX (Page 114). 

" The ' two brothers in song ' (John and Charles Wesley) began 
their issue of ' Hymns and Sacred Songs ' in 1739, and continued 
at intervals to supply Christian singers for half a century. Thirty- 
eight publications appeared one after the other : now under the 
name of one brother, now under that of the other ; some with 
both names, and others nameless. The two hymnists appear to 
have agreed that, in the volumes which bore their joint names, 
they would not distinguish their hymns." — The Fpworth Singers 
and other poets of Methodism, by the Bev. S. W. Christophers, Bed- 
ruth, Cornwall. 

Appendix, 311 

APPENDIX (Note, Page 118). 

The God of Abraham praise, 
"Who reigns enthron'd above ; 
Ancient of everlasting days, 
And God of love : 
Jehovah — great I Am— 
By earth and Heavens confest ; 
I bow and bless the sacred name, 
For ever bless'd. 

The God of Abraham praise, 
At whose supreme command 
From earth I rise, and seek the joys 
At His right hand : 
I all on earth forsake, 
Its wisdom, fame and power, 
And Him my only portion make, 
My Shield and Tower. 

The God of Abraham praise, 
Whose all-sufficient grace 
Shall guide me all my happy days, 
In all my ways : 
He calls a worm His friend ! 
He calls Himself my God ! 
And He shall save me to the end, 
Thro' Jesus' blood. 

He by Himself hath sworn ! 
I on His oath depend, 
I shall, on eagle's wings up-borne, 
To Heaven ascend ; 
I shall behold His face, 
I shall His power adore, 
And sing the wonders of His grace 
For evermore. 

Tho' nature's strength decay, 
And earth and hell withstand, 
To Canaan's bounds I urge my way 
At His command : 

312 Appendix. 

The wat'ry deep I pass, 
With Jesus in my view ; 
And thro' the howling wilderness 
My way pursue. 

The goodly land I see, 
"With peace and plenty bless'd ; 
A land of sacred liberty, 
And endless rest. 
There milk and honey flow, 
And oil and wine abound, 
And trees of life forever grow, 
With mercy crown'd. 

There dwells the Lord our King, 
The Lord our Eighteousness, 
Triumphant o'er the world and sin, 
The Prince of Peace ; 
On Sion's sacred heights 
His Kingdom still maintains ; 
And glorious with the saints in light, 
Forever reigns. 

He keeps His own secure, 
He guards them by His side, 
Arrays in garments white and pure 
His spotless bride. 
With streams of sacred bliss, 
With groves of living joys, 
With all the fruits of Paradise 
He still supplies. 

Before the great Three — One 

They all exulting stand ; 

And tell the wonders He hath done, 

Thro' all their land : 

The list'ning spheres attend, 

And swell the growing fame ; 

And sing, in songs which never end, 

The wondrous name. 

Appendix. 313 

The God who reigns on high, 
The great Archangels sing, 
And " Holy, holy, holy," cry, 
Almighty King ! 
Who was, and is, the same I 
And evermore shall be ; 
Jehovah — Father — great I Am ! 
We worship Thee. 

Before the Saviour's face 
The ransom'd nations bow ; 
O'erwhelmed at His Almighty grace, 
Forever new : 
He shows His prints of love — 
They kindle — to a flame ! 
And sound through all the worlds above, 
The slaughter'd Lamb. 

The whole triumphant host 
Give thanks to God on high ; 
" Hail, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost !" 
They ever cry : 
Hail, Abraham's God — and mine ! 
I join the heavenly lays, 
All might and majesty are Thine, 
And endless praise. 

Thomas Olivers, the author of the above hymn, lived to see the 
issue of at least thirty editions of it. 

APPENDIX (Page 118). 



Come, immortal King of Glory, 
Now in Majesty appear, 
Bid the nations stand before Thee, 
Each his final doom to hear, 

3 H Appendix, 

Come to judgment, 
Come, Lord Jesus, quickly come. 

Speak the word, and lo ! all nature 
Flies before Thy glorious face, 
Angels sing your great Creator, 
Saints proclaim His sovereign grace, 

While ye praise Him, 
Lift your heads and see Him come. 

See His beauty all resplendent, 
View Him in His glory shine, 
See His majesty transcendent, 
Seated on His throne sublime : 

Angels praise Him, 
Saints and angels praise the Lamb. 

Shout aloud, ye heavenly choirs, 
Trumpet forth Jehovah's praise ; 
Trumpets, voices, hearts and lyres ! 
Speak the wonders of His grace ! 

Sound before Him 
Endless praises to His name. 

Bansom'd sinners, see His ensign 
Waving thro' the purpled air ! 
'Midst ten thousand lightnings daring, 
Jesus' praises to declare ; 

How tremendous 
la this dreadful, joyful day. 

Crowns and sceptres fall before Him, 
Kings and conquerors own His sway, 
Tearless potentates are trembling, 
While they see His lightnings play : 

How triumphant 
Is the world's Bedeemer now. 

Noon-day beauty in its lustre 
Doth in Jesus' aspect shine, 
Blazing comets are not fiercer 
Than the flaming eyes Divine : 

Appendix. 315 

O, how dreadful 
Doth the Crucified appear. 

Hear His voice as mighty thunder, 
Sounding in eternal roar ! 
Far surpassing many waters 
Echoing wide from shore to shore : 

Hear His accents 
Through th' unfathom'd deep resound : 

" Come," He saith, "ye heirs of glory, 
Come, the purchase of my blood ; 
Bless'd ye are, and bless'd ye shall be, 
Now ascend the mount of God ; 

Angels guard them 
To the realms of endless day." 

See ten thousand flaming seraphs 
From their thrones as lightnings fly ; 
" Take," they cry, " your seats above us, 
Nearest Him who rules the sky : 

Favorite sinners, 
How rewarded are you now !" 

Haste and taste celestial pleasure ; 
Haste and reap immortal joys ; 
Haste and drink the crystal river ; 
Lift on high your choral voice, 

While archangels 
Shout aloud the great Amen. 

But the angry Lamb's determin'd 
Every evil to descry ; 
They who have His love rejected 
Shall before His vengeance fly, 

When He drives them 
To their everlasting doom. 

Now, in awful expectation, 
See the countless millions stand ; 
Dread, dismay, and sore vexation, 
Seize the helpless, hopeless band ; 

316 Appendix. 

Baleful thunders, 
Stop and hear Jehovah's voice ! 

" Go from me," He saith, "ye cursed- 
Ye for whom I bled in vain — 
Ye who have my grace refused — 
Hasten to eternal pain !" 

How victorious 
Is the conquering Son of Man ! 

See, in solemn pomp ascending, 
Jesus and His glorious train ; 
Countless myriads now attend Him, 
Eising to th' imperial plain ; 

Hallelujah ! 
To the bless'd Immanuel's name ! 

In full triumph see them marching 
Through the gates of massy light ; 
While the city walls are sparkling 
With meridian's glory bright ; 

How stupendous 
Are the glories of the Lamb ! 

On His throne of radiant azure, 
High above all heights He reigns — 
Beigns amidst immortal pleasure, 
While refulgent glory flames ; 

How diffusive 
Shines the golden blaze around ! 

All the heavenly powers adore Him, 
Circling round his orient seat ; 
Bansom'd saints with angels vying, 
Loudest praises to repeat ; 

How exalted 
Is His praise, and how profound I 

Every throne and every mansion, 
All ye heavenly arches ring ; 
Echo to the Lord salvation, 
Glory to our glorious King ! 

Appendix. 317 

Boundless praises 
All ye heavenly orbs resound. 

Praise be to the Father given, 
Praise to the Incarnate Son, 
Praise the Spirit, one and Seven, 
Praise the mystic Three in One ; 

Hallelujah ! 
Everlasting praise be Thine ! 

APPENDIX (Page 120). 
BOCK OF AGES— In Latin. 


Jesus, pro me perforatus, 
Condar intra Tuum latus, 
Tu per lympham profluentem, 
Tu per sanguinem tepentem, 
In peccata me redunda, 
Tolle culpam, sordes munda. 

Coram Te, nee Justus forem 
Quamvis tota si laborem, 
Nee si fide nunquam cesso, 
Fletu stillans indefesso : 
Tibi soli tantum munus ; 
Salva me, Salvator unus ! 

Nil in manu mecum fero, 

Sed me versus crucem gero ; 

Vestimenta nudus oro, 

Opem debilis imploro ; 

Fontem Christi qusero immundua 

Nisi laves, moribundus. 

Dum hos artus vita regit ; " 
Quando nox sepuichro tegit ; 
Mortuos cum stare jubes, 
Sedens Judex inter nubes ; 
Jesus, pro me perforatus, 
Condar intra Tuum latus. 

318 Appendix. 

APPENDIX (Page 236). 

From the " Memoirs of Howard, compiled from his diary, his 
confidential letters, and other authentic documents, by James 
Baldwin Brown," it appears that in the year 1755, on a voyage to 
•Portugal, the vessel in which he was, was captured by a French 
privateer, and carried into Brest, where he and the other pas- 
sengers, along with the crew, were cast into a filthy dungeon, and 
there kept a considerable time without nourishment. There they 
lay for six days and nights. The floor, with nothing but straw 
upon it, was their sleeping place. He was afterwards removed to 
Morlaix, and thence to Carpaix, where he was two months upon 
parole. At the latter place "he corresponded with the English 
prisoners at Brest, Morlaix and Dinnan ; and had sufficient evi- 
dence of their being treated with such barbarity that many hun- 
dreds had perished ; and that thirty-six were buried in a hole at 
Dinnan in one day." 

Through his benevolent and timely interference on their behalf, 
when he himself had regained his freedom, the prisoners of war 
in these three prisons were released and sent home to England 
in the first cartel ships. 

Till the year 1773 it does not appear that he was actively en- 
gaged in any philanthropic work on behalf of prisoners. In the 
year 1730 there had been a commission of enquiry in the House 
of Commons on the state of prisons, and condition of their in- 
mates, but nothing seems to have followed from it, and it was 
not till March, 1774, when Howard received the thanks of the 
House for the information which he communicated to them on 
the subject, that the great work assumed shape. In 1773, having 
been appointed sheriff of Bedford, the distress of prisoners came 
under his notice. He engaged himself in a most minute inspec- 
tion, and the consequence was the devotion of every faculty of 
his existence to the correction of the abuses existing in similar 
institutions as the friend of those who had no friend. 

In that Christlike work he continued till his death, on 20th Jan- 
uary, 1790, at Cherson, Russian Tartary, having in the meantime 
inspected prisons in England, Scotland and Ireland, France, 
Holland, Flanders, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden, Po- 
land, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, Malta, Turkey, Prussia 
and Russia. 

Appendix. 319 

APPENDIX (Page 253). 

At Michaelmas time, 1791, Mr. Buchanan was admitted a mem- 
ber of Queen's College, Cambridge, having left London on the 
21th October. He was then 25 years of age. In consequence of 
a letter from his mother he attended the preaching of John New- 
ton, with whom he kept up a correspondence when at college. 
In one of his replies to Mr. Newton he wrote: "You ask me 
whether I would prefer preaching the Gospel to the fame of 
learning ? Ay, that would I, gladly, were I convinced it was the 
will of God, that 1 should depart this night for Nova Zembla, or 
the Antipodes, to testify of Him. I would not wait for an admit 
or a college exit." Some time in the year 1791, the first proposal 
appears to have been made to him to go out to India, and on this 
occasion he wrote Mr. Newton, saying, "I have only time to say, 
that with respect to my going to India, I must decline giving an 
opinion. * * * It is with great pleasure I submit thi3 matter 
to the determination of yourself and Mr. Thornton and Mr. 
Grant. All I wish to ascertain is the will of God." In a subse- 
quent letter he wrote, " I am equally ready to preach the Gospel 
in the next village, or at the end of the earth." 

After taking his degree of B.A., he was ordained a deacon by 
the Bishop of London on 20th September, 1795, when he be- 
came Mr. Newton's curate, which he held till March, 1796, when 
he was appointed one of the chaplains to the East India Com- 
pany. Soon after, he received priest's orders, and on 11th 
August, 1796, sailed from Portsmouth, England, for Calcutta, 
where he landed 10th March, 1797. In May following he 
proceeded to the military station of Barackpore. But it was not 
till the beginning of the present century that he fairly devel- 
oped his plans for the extension of the Redeemer's Kingdom in 
India. — From Memoirs of Ben. Claudius Buchanan. 

APPENDIX (Page 254). 

In the month of September, 1794, a paper was published in the 
Evangelical Magazine, urging the formation of a mission to the 
heathen on the broadest possible basis. The writer of that paper 

320 Appendix. 

was the Eev. David Bogue, D.D., of Gosport, Hampshire, and 
two months after its appearance a conference, attended by repre- 
sentatives from several Evangelical bodies, was held to take 
action in the matter. The result was an address to ministers 
and members of various churches, and the appointment of a 
committee to diffuse information upon the subject. Thereafter, 
and in September, 1795, a large and influential meeting, extend- 
ing over three days, at which the Rev. Dr. Harris preached from 
Mark xv: 16, and the Rev. J. Burder and the Rev. Rowland Hill 
and many others took part. At that meeting the society was 
formed, and it was resolved, with reference to its agents and 
their converts, " That it should be entirely left with those whom 
God might call into the fellowship of His Son among them, to 
assume for themselves such a form of church government as to 
them shall appear most agreeable to the Word of God." 

The Rev. David Bogue, D.D., has therefore well been styled 
"the father and founder" of the institution. 

APPENDIX (Page 256). 

At a meeting held in Leeds, 5th October, 1813, it was resolved 
to constitute a society to be called "The Methodist Missionary 
Society for the Leeds District," of which branches were to be 
formed in the several circuits, whose duty it should be to collect 
subscriptions in behalf of missions and to remit them to an 
already existing committee in London. It was from this point 
that, by general consent, the origin of the Wesleyan Missionary 
Society is reckoned. 



Academy, Doddridge's 29 

" Lady Huntingdon's, 
* 257 

Aftermath 260 

Age before the Bevival, The. 32 

Albert, Prince 120 

Alleine, Rev. Joseph 197 

Allen, Ebenezer, Governor of 

Martha's Vineyard 226 

America, Awakening in. . .28, 73, 
85, 281 
American Baptist Missionary 

Union .256 

American Board of Commis- 
sioners for Foreign Mis- 
sions 255,256 

American Revival. 28, 73, 85, 281 
" Sunday-school Un- 
ion 256 

Amusements 15 

Anabaptists 52 

Ancaster, Duchess of. 37, 41 

Anecdotes, 17-20, 37, 39, 41, 52, 
54, 56, 58, 60, 69, 70, 72, 
76, 82-84, 87, 89, 94, 96, 100, 
103, 109, 112, 113, 115, 116, 
125, 129, 130, 133-135, 137, 
138, 140, 143-145, 148, 151, 
153, 158, 159, 161, 166, 172, 
177, 183, 194, 198, 200, 202, 
218, 234, 236, 239, 243, 245, 
247, 255, 256, 266, 288, 291, 
293, 294, 298, 300, 301 

Aram, Eugene 147 

Armenianism 60 

Arrests 102 

Atheism, Prevalence of 15 

Austrian Exiles 28 

Baptist Missionary Society. . 250 
" " Union, 
American 256 


Band Meetings, etc., Origin 

of 100 

Basle Evangelical Mission. . .256 

Baynham, James 195 

Baxter, Richard 266 

Benson, Bishop 69, 70 

Bernard of Clairvaux 114 

" Cluny 114 

Berridge, John, 150, 157, 169, 177, 
Bible, The, the Power of God, 

7, 279, 286 

" " Reverenced 277 

" " Translated for In- 
dia 253 

Bible Society, The.. 186, 189, 191, 

Blomfield, Bishop 18 

Bloomfield 197 

Blossoms in the Wilderness. .180 

Bogue, David 254, 257, 320 

Bolingbroke, Lord... .41, 60, 180 

Borlase, Dr 102 

Boston in 1730 232 

" Elm 275 

" State of Society in 282 

Braddock, Joseph 

Bradford, Joseph 138 

Britain's Obligations to Mis- 
sions for Ladia 254 

British and Foreign School 

Society 256 

British Quarterly 52, 92 

Bronte Family 160 

Bruised Reed 266 

Buchanan, Claudius 178, 190 

253, 254, 319 
Buckingham, Duchess of. .38, 39 

Bunyan, John 160 

Burke, Edmund 236 

Butler, Bishop 22 




Byron 117 

Calvin's Institutes 61 

Calvinistic Methodists 101 

Campbell, John 178, 190 

Captains of Ships in 18th 

Century 221, 224 

Cardigan, Lady 42 

Carey, William 250 

Carlyle, Thomas 28, 305 

Cennick, John 123 

Chatsworth 49 

Cheerfulness and Joy Signifi- 
cant of Revival. .98, 99, 101, 
109, 121 

Chesterfield, Lord 41, 180 

Christian Remembrances .... 123 
" Christian World Unmasked, 

The; Fray Come and Peep ,".158 
Christianity, Effect of. . . .98, 185 

Chrysostom. 52 

Church of England, Evangeli- 
cal Party in 269 

" Religion in 15,18,233 
" Disabilities against 

Members of 258 

" Opposition to Meth- 
odism 99 

" Opposition to Revi- 
val 22, 70, 156, 

" Southey on the 

Clergy of the.... 308 
Church Signs and Counter- 
signs 99 

Clrurch's, Rev. Thomas, De- 
nunciation of Evil 21 

Chubbs 180 

Church Missionary Society. .255 

City Road Chapel 91 

Clapham Sect 184, 189, 191 

Clarkson, Thomas 190 

Clergy, Corruption of 18 

Coates, Alexander 153 

Colman, Dr., Testimony of. .285 

Colliers, The 75 

Collins 180 

Colston, Edward 218 

Colston's School, Bristol 218 

Compton, Adam 198 

Congregationalism 170 


Controversalists of Revival. . 

117, 119 

Con versions... 219, 234, 238,258, 

266, 267, 284, 290 

Cornwall 116, 131, 171 

Cottage Visitation 50 

Cowper, William. . .126, 178, 207, 
Cradle of London Method- 
ism 91 

Crime in 18th Century. . 14, 16, 21, 

Criminals, Condition of 200, 

237, 239, 244 
Criminal Law in 18th Cen- 
tury. -14, 237, 242, 244, 247, 248, 

Danish Hymns 131 

" Missionary Society. . .250 

Darkness before Dawn 7, 107 

Dawn, First Streaks of 24 

Deaf and Dumb Asylum . . . .258 

Defoe 177,216 

Deism, Prevalence of 15 

Derby, Earl of 129 

Dissenters, Disabilities of.. . .258 
Dissent in, Boston, in 1730. .232 
Divine authority of the New 

Testament, The 255 

Doddridge, Philip. . .28, 31, 110, 
113, 126, 267 

" his Academy 29 

" his Eriends 36,58 

" his Hymns 29 

Drawing-Room Preaching . 37, 

Effect of 43 

Drury Lane 155 

Dying Words. . .169, 261, 262, 300 

East India Company 191 

Economy of Charity 210 

Edinburgh Review. ... 69, 184, 253 

Education, Neglect of 16 

" Spreading ..257 

Edwards, Jonathan. .28, 275,283, 
Effect of Rejection of Gospel, 7 
Eighteenth Century Revival, 

Emerson, quoted 12 



England and France Con- 
trasted 23, 180 

England, State of Religion 

in 23 

Epitaphs 156, 197, 212, 268 

Episcopal Board of Missions, 

Methodist 256 

" Protestant 256 

Epworth 43, 53, 94, 97 

Essays on Ecclesiastical Bi- 
ography 184 

Everton 156 

Excitement of the Revival ... 68 
Executions at Tyburn in 1738, 14 

Exiles in England 28 

Experiences of Christians ex- 
pressed in Song 128 

Eyre, Jane 160 

Eair Preaching 83 

Fenwick, Michael 137 

Eerrars, Lady 40 

Field Preaching. .68, 89, 101, 104 
First Day or Sunday-school 

Society 256 

Flaxley 197 

Fletcher of Madsley 149 

Florence 7 

Foote, the Actor 154 

Founders of London Mission- 
ary Society 254 

Foundry, TheMoorfields 91 

France....; 7, 180 

Free Church of England 101 

French Protestants in Eng- 
land 25 

Fry, Elizabeth 237, 258, 278 

Gambold, John 50, 64 

Garrick, David 155, 172 

George II 181 

George IV 158 

Gerhardt, Paul 113 

German Empire. 7 

Hymns 131 

Germain, Lady Betty 41 

Gisborne, Thomas 192 

Gladstone, W. E 119, 317 

Gloucestershire 183, 193, 213 

God's Method of Diffusing 

the Truth 12, 13 

Goethe 28, 305 


Goldsmith 21 

Gospel Preached in Song 114 

Grant, James 126 

" Sir Robert 192 

Gregory, Alfred 196 

Greenfield, Edward 102 

Griggs, Joseph 126 

Grimshaw, William 160, 169, 

178, 270 

Guthrie, Dr 158 

Gwennap Pit 103, 275 

Haime, John 151 

Hamilton, Duchess of 41 

" Lady Elizabeth... 243 

" Sir William 179 

Hardcastle, Joseph 191 

Hardships 221 

Harris, Howell 272 

Harvard College, Religion in,285 

Hastings, Lady Margaret. .170, 


Haweis, Thomas 254 

Ha worth 160 

Havmarket Theatre 154 

Helmsley 119 

Herbert, George 110 

Hervey, James 50, 57, 60 

" " Writings 63 

Hey, James (Old Jemmie o' 

tho Hey) 198 

Hill, Rowland. .120, 159, 170, 254 

Holy Club, The. . .51, 54, 57, 60, 

65, 170 

" Spirit, The, the Power.. 85 

Hooper, John 195 

Hopper, Christopher 151 

Home, Dr 66 

Hospitality in New England.. 225, 

229, 231 

Hostility to Revival. ..21,32, 61, 

77, 288 

Howard, John 236, 318 

Hymns. . . .115, 118, 119, 122, 125- 
130, 203 311, 313 

" Character of 127,131 

" Influence of. . .98, 99, 101, 
109, 112, 129 

" of Doddridge 29,110 

" of Watts 29,31,110 

" of Wesley 112 




Hymnists of the Revival — 109, 
121, 123, 126, 192 

Huddersfield 169 

Huguenots, The 24, 98 

" Descendants i n 

England 26 

'* Influence on Re- 
vival 26 

" Settlement in Eng- 
land 26 

Huntingdon, Lady, 20, 35, 46, 50, 
64, 66, 69, 91, 101, 124, 135, 
143, 148, 155, 159, 169, 172, 
183, 254, 257, 261, 307 

Huntingdon, William 276 

Hupton, Job 127 

Independents 256 

Indians, Cause of, Espoused 

by Whitefleld 290 

Ingham, Benjamin 50, 170 

Itinerancy, by Wesley 93 

Itinerant Preachers 116, 160 

Jay, William 184 

Jenner, Dr. Edward 195 

Johnson, Samuel 55 

Joss, Toriel 149 

Juvenal 52 

Kempis, Thomas A- 55, 59 

Kingsbury, William 254 

Kirk, John, Author of " Mo- 
ther of the Wesleys " 44 

Lackington 154 

Lancashire 131 

" Independent Col- 
lege 257 

Lanterns,New Lights and Old 48 

Lavington, Bishop 70 

Law, William 53 

Lay Preaching. . . .132, 136, 139, 
147-149, 151 
Lecky on the Effect of the 

Revival 10 

Lee, Jesse 275 

Literature, State of, at begin- 
ning of 18th Century. How 
Affected by Revival. . . .16, 269 

Livingstone 255 

Local Preachers 136 

" Wesley's Reasons 

for 136 


London Missionary Society. . 191, 

254 255 319 

Love of Souls. ..101, 185^ 186' 281 

Luther 7, 57, 110, 114, 179 

Lyttleton, Lord 17, 40, 42 

Macaulay 86, 97, 99, 189 

" Tribute to Puri- 
tans 9,97,303-305 

McOwan, Peter 130 

Mann, Sir Horace 40 

Mansheld, Lord 172 

Marlborough, Duchess of. 37, 39, 

Marshman and Ward 253 

Martyrs 195 

Maxfleld, Thomas 115, 134 

Melcombe, Lord .*.... 42 

Methodism 182, 257, 275, 278 

" in New England. .275 
Methodists acknowledged.. .177, 
" and Pur i tans 

Compared 98 

Methodists and Quakers 278 

Methodist Band Meetings, 

etc 100 

Methodist Episcopal Mission- 
ary Society 256 

Methodists, Beginning of, 45, 52, 
" Calvinistie and 

Wesleyan 101 

Methodists, Creed of 100 

" Early 98,102,309 

" Effect of 35,129 

' ' Efforts of Earliest . 257 
" Expelled from Ox- 
ford 66 

" Growth of. 40,170 

1 ' in Unite d States. . . 275 
" Held as Opposed 
to Church of Eng- 
land. .. .66, 70, 94, 99 

*« Hymnals 32 

" Manifestations of. . 85 

" Origin of Name 52, 

60, 309 
" Regarded as Ene- 
mies. . . .21, 70, 94, 99, 
139, 143, 144, 233, 309 




Methodists, Sects of 276 

Middleton 180 

Milton 110 

Minor, The 154 

Mission Enterprises . 186, 250, 256 

" to Africa 191,255 

" to China 255 

" to India 190,253 

" to Madagascar 255 

" to South Seas 255 

Missionary Societies 250, 256, 


Moffat, Robert 191, 255 

Moliere 155 

Montague, Duchess of 42 

Montgomery, James 118 

Moornelds, London. .84, 91, 134, 
149, 233 
Morality at Beginning of 18th 

Century 16 

Moravians, The. .35, 64, 113, 170, 
250, 256 

More, Hannah 178, 210 

Morgan 50 

Mystery of Life, The 65 

Napoleon at St. Helena 255 

Nash, Beau, Overcome by 

Wesley _ 87 

Nelson, John. . 139 

Netherlands Missionary 

Society 256 

Newman, John Henry 269 

Newton, John. .123, 126, 149, 174, 
190, 216, 217, 270 

Noel, Baptist 259 

Nonconformists, Religion 

Among. 15 

Oliver, John 115 

Olivers, Thomas.115, 125, 311, 313 

One-eyed Christians 183 

Orphan Asylum in Georgia. . 291, 

Oxford 48,65 

" Forecasting Future of 

Union 48 

Oxford Methodists 49 

" Society 54 

Parson, John 151 

Perronet, Edward 125 

Persecution. . . .102, 139, 143, 270 


Philadelphia Adult and Sun- 
day-school Union 256 

Pilgrim's Progress, The 219, 

Pitt, William 42, 266 

Politics Influenced by Revi- 
val 258 

Pope 38 

Portraits of Revivalists . .154, 271 

Power of Song 114 

Practical View of Christian- 
ity 266, 267 

Prayer 102 

Preacher and Robbers, The . .151 
Preaching at Beginning of 

18th Century. ... 61 

" by Laymen. . . 132, 136, 

139, 147, 148, 149, 151 

" in Drawing-Room. .37, 


" Effect of. .7,98,99, 101, 

107, 139, 143 

Prejudices Against Lay 

Preachers 132 

Prison Philanthrophy. .199, 217, 
234, 236, 241, 246, 248, 258, 318 
Promoting Christian Knowl- 
edge, Society for 250 

Propagation of Gospel, So- 
ciety for, in New England.. 250 
Propagation of Gospel, So- 
ciety for, in Foreign Parts..250 
Protestant Episcopal Board 

of Missions .256 

Puritans, The 8, 9, 35, 52, 98, 

303, 305 
" Macaulay's e s t i - 

mate of 9, 97,303 

" and Methodists 

Compared 98 

Quakers, The ..35, 231, 278 

Quarterly Beview 125, 126 

Quietists 55 

Quixote, the Spiritual 154 

Raikes, Anne 213 

Raikes, Robert. . . . .183, 193, 194, 
196, 201, 211, 214 
" at Windsor.... 202, 208 
" House at Glouces- 
ter 213 




Raymont of Pegnafort 93 

Reciprocation the Soul of 

Methodism 100 

Redruth, Cornwall 103 

Reformation, The 8 

Reign of Terror 181 

Rejection of Gospel, its Effect 

on Nations 7 

Religion, State of at Begin- 
ning of 18th Cen- 
tury... 10, 22, 23, 107 
" State of and After 
Revival Contrast- 
ed 13, 277 

Religious Tract Society.. 191, 256 
Repeal of Test and Corpora- 
tion Acts 258 

Revival, The, Anecdotes of. 
(See Anecdotes.) 

Revival Beacons , 181 

" Becomes Educa- 
tional.. .193, 257, 278 
" Beginning of. .21, 28, 
35, 39, 19, 57, 
73, 181, 186 
" Cheerfulness and 

Joy of. . . .98, 99, 101, 
109, 121 

" Conservative 86 

" Dawn of 21, 18, 19 

" Depth of 277 

" Done Most for Well- 
being of Mankind. 280 
" Effect on Litera- 
ture 260 

" Effect of on World 

at Large 279,293 

" Effects of. 8, 10, 13, 107, 
115, 129, 132, 117, 166, 
171, 180, 183, 186, 258, 
259, 260, 269, 277, 279, 
285, 293, 296, 300 
" Evangelical in Eng- 
land 8, 271 

" Fair Preaching 83 

" Field Preaching... 68, 
89, 101, 101 
" Foremost Names 

in 46,151 

" Fruit of 180,186 


Revival, Growth of 73, 265 

" Hostilitvto..21, 22, 32, 
61, 77, 91, 102, 151, 156, 
159, 172, 2^8, 298 

" Importance of 10 

" in Wales 272 

" in America. .275, 281, 
288, 295, 300 

" at Kingswood 77 

" Lay Preaching . . .132, 
135, 139, 117, 
118, 119, 151 

" Sects Formed 276 

" Singers of. . . . 109, 121, 
123, 126, 192, 310 

" Spiritual 111,285 

Revivalist Portraits 151, 271 

Richmond Legh 267 

Ridicule of Revivalists.. 151, 253, 


Rise and Progress in the Soul.267 

Ritual Absent in Revival 111 

Rock of Ages 119 

Rockingham, Lady 40 

Rogers' Lives of Early 

Preachers 151 

Romaine, William 119, 172 

Roman Catholics 133, 115, 193 

Romelly, Sir Samuel 26 

Romish Stories and Incidents 

in Work of Wesley 133, 145 

Romney, Earl 259 

Rosary, The 99 

Rowlands 272 

Sabbath Observance 17, 229 

Sacred Song, Power of. .109, 113, 


Sailors' Hardships, etc. .221,224, 


Saints Everlasting Best 267 

Salvation by Grace the Grand 
Doctrine "of the Revival. . .60 t 
186, 270, 284 

Sandwich Islands 255 

Sandys 110 

Sarton, William 195 

Saunderson, Lady Frances. . 37 

Savonarola 7 

Schools, Sunday 16, 196-199, 

201, 204 




School, Sunday, Commend- 
ed 207,208 

" Effect of. 201,215 

" First Day or Society 256 
Growth of. 208, 209,215 

Scott, Captain Jonathan 149 

" Thomas 269 

" Walter, Sir 117 

Sects Eising from Bevival : 
Bible Christians of 

West of England.... 276 
Primitive Methodists 

of the North 276 

New Connection Meth- 
odists 276 

United Free Church 

Association 276 

Selborne, Lord, Beferred to. . 125 

Sharp, Granville 190 

Shaw,Bobert 169 

Ships of 18th Century 220 

Shirley, Lady Fanny 64 

" Mr. (Lady Hunting- 
don's Cousin) 20 

Sidney, Sir Philip 110 

Simeon, Charles 269 

Singers of the Bevival. .109, 121, 

123, 126, 192, 310 

Slave Abolition.. . .186, 211, 265, 


Smiles, Dr., referred to 24 

Smith, Adam 207 

" Sydney 184, 253 

Society, State of, at beginning 

of 18th Century. .10, 
16, 24, 75, 277, 282, 294 
" State of and after 
Bevival, Con- 
trasted 13,277 

Somerset, Duchess of 36 

Songs Used in Great Nation- 
al Movements 109 

Southey. . .71, 83, 89, 93, 115, 130, 
133, 146, 147, 157, 166, 249, 
276, 308 

Spain 7 

Spencer 52 

St. Ambrose 117 

St. Ann's, Black Friars, Lon- 
don 174 


St. George's, Hanover 

Square, London 172 

Stage Libels against the Be- 

vivalists 154 

Staniforth, Sampson 151 

Stanhope, Earl, Testimony to 

Wesley 10 

Starting Point, The, of Mod- 
ern Beligious History 181 

Steam Engine, The 12 

Steele, Miss .126 

Stephen, Sir James. .83, 184, 191, 
192, 269 

" Sir George 192 

Stevens, Dr. Abel . . .27, 83, 182, 
216, 249, 262, 300 

Stocker, John 127 

Stock, Thomas 204 

Story, George 147 

Stratford, Joseph 196 

Streaks of Dawn, First 24 

Suffolk, Countess of 40 

Swedenborg 276 

Swedish Missionary Society . . 250 

Taylor, Isaac 45, 83, 128 

Teachers, Character of at Be- 
ginning of 18th Century. . . 17 

TeDeum 114 

Teignmouth, Lord 189, 254 

Tennent, Gilbert. ...286, 287, 290 

" The Last Judgment" 118 

Thomson, Mr., The Vicar of 

St. Gennys 70 

Thornton, John 190 

Ticket, The 99 

Told, Silas 216, 257 

" " his Preaching and 

his Work 235 

Toleration Act 258 

Toplady, Augustus 119, 121 

Tottenham Court Chapel. ...120, 

Townshend, Lady 37 

" John 258 

" - Lord 42 

Tractarian Movement, The . . 48 

Tract Societies .186, 191 

Trevisa, John De 193 

Trimmer, Sarah, Mrs 209 

Trophies of Bevival 115 




Turnpikes in England 93 

Tyerman, Mr., referred to.. . 27, 
43, 219 

Tyndale, William 183, 193 

Venn, Henry 169 

Vicar of Wakefield. . .21, 267, 305 

Voltaire 51, 180 

Wales 272 

Walker, Samuel 171 

Walpole, Horace. ..39, 4=3, 79, 83, 

Walsh, Thomas 135, 115 

Warburton, Bishop, on Wes- 
ley 22 

Ward and Marshman 253 

Watson, Eichard 158 

Watt, James 12 

Watts, Isaac 29, 110, 122, 128 

" " Friends of. 36 

" " his Mother 26 

" " Hymns of. ..29, 113 
" " Literary Labors . .29 

Watigh, Alexander 251 

Welsh Preaching and Preach- 
ers 275 

Wesleyan Methodists 101 

" Missionary So- 
ciety 256,320 

Wesleyan Societies 170, 182 

Wesleyanism, Historians of. . 182 
Wesley, Charles. ..15, 50, 57, 118, 
121, 128, 265 
Wesley, John. . .21, 26, 16, 50, 53, 
80, 92, 122, 136, 165, 179, 
182, 207 
" as an Administra- 
tor 82, 86 

" and Church Poli- 
ty 82,86 

" and Bradford 138 

" and Fenwick 137 

" and Nelson 115 

" and Silas Told.... 217, 
233, 237, 219 

" and Walsh 116 

" and Whitefield 

87, 89, 118 
" and Field Preach- 
ing 89 


Wesley, John, and Methodists 
Regarded as Ene- 
mies 21,91,99 

" and Hervey's 

Teaching 59 

at Ep worth.. 13, 53, 91, 
" at the Foundry, 
Moorfields (City 
Boad Chapel) ... 91 

" at Glasgow 11 

' ' at Gwennap Pit 103 

at Oxford 50,53 

at York 96 

" Compared with 

Calvin 69 

" Conversion,Time of 58 

Creed 100 

Death of 262 

' \ Early Beligious Ex- 
periences 53 

" Effect of His Preach- 
ing on Himself. . 82 
Effect of His Preach- 
ing on Others. 82, 87, 
96, 111 
" Estimate of by Ma- 

caulay 86, 89 

" Expelled from 
Church of Eng- 
land 68,69 

" Expelled from 

Oxford 65 

Hymns 112,113, 

111, 121, 126 
" Influence of. . 10, 26, 182 

" Itinerancy 93 

" on Sabbath Schools.208 
" Parish, the World. 91 
" Power over Others 82, 
87, 137 
" Preaching in Ep- 
worth Church- 
yard 95 

" Restrictions on Lay 

Preachers 131 

" Tomb 262 

" Translations 113 

" Victory of, over 

Nash 87 




Wesley, Samuel 43, 53 

" Susannah 44,134 

" " her Sayings. 45 

Weston, Favel 58, 62 

Wilberforce, William. . .178, 189, 
191, 254, 258, 265, 266 

Wilderness, Blossoms in 180 

Wilks, Matthew 254 

Winter, Cornelius .184, 257 

Wiseman, Cardinal 131 

White, Bev. George, Vicar of 

Colne 71 

Whitefield, George. . . .32, 46, 52, 
60, 69, 73, 86, 122, 148, 165, 
179, 184, 195, 258, 270, 284 
" and the Children.. 292 
" Among the In dians.290 
" and the Poor Wo- 
man 56 

" and Wesley Com- 
pared 69,80,86, 

87, 89, 148 
" and the Eecruiting 

Sergeant 84 

" Among the Nobil- 
ity 36,38,41,79 

" Among the Boughs, 

83, 115 
" at Boston,New Eng- 
land 284, 285 

" at Cambridge, New 

England 28 

" at Harvard 285 

" at Kingswood, Bris- 
tol 73 

" at Princeton 290 

" at Gloucester 73 

" at New Haven 285 

" at Oxford 49,54 

" at the Tower of 

London 73 

" Compared with 

Luther 69 

" Description of his 
Preaching Dur- 
ing Thunder 

Storm 79 

** Early Beligious Ex- 
perience 55 


Whitefield, George, Effect of 
his Preaching on 
Himself ..80, 81, 294 
" Effect on Others. . . .43, 
76, 79, 82-84, 87, 115, 
284, 294, 295, 301 
" First Meeting 

Charles Wesley. . 56 

" in Georgia 291 

" Journeys 281 

" in New York 288 

" in America.. 73, 85, 281 

" in Wales 272 

" in London 81 

" in Maryland 290 

" in Moorfields, Lon- 
don 84 

" in Philadelphia.... 289 
" on Toriel Joss and 

Newton 149 

" Preaching of... 73, 295 
" on Beligion in 

America 299 

" Orphan Asylum in 

Georgia 291, 296 

" Begarded as a Fa- 
natic 83 

" Bidiculed 154 

" The First in the 
Opening of the 
Methodist Move- 
ment 80 

" Treatment of Those 
Who Opposed 
Themselves to 

Him 78, 298 

" Watts' Blessing of.. 32 
Williams, John (Martyr of 

Erromanga) 255 

Woolston 180 

Work Done in the Bevival.... 66 

Wyclif, John 193 

Xavier, Francis. 93 

York, Wesley at 96 

Yorkshire 131, 139, 160, 170 

Yorkshire, Apostles of 139 

Young Cottager, The 267 

Zinzendorf, Count, Hymns 
of 113,171 

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