Thursday, March 24, 2011

What Is the Primary Characteristic of the Methodist Movement Today?

Here's an excerpt:

HISTORY of the METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH in the United States of America

By Abel Stevens




"Coke, the first bishop of American Methodism, was to the end of his life the representative character of Methodist Missions. In his old age he offered himself, as we shall hereafter see, to the British Conference as a missionary to the East Indies. He died on the voyage, and was buried in the Indian Ocean. His death struck not only a knell through the Church, but a summons for it to rise universally and march around the world. He had long entertained the idea of universal evangelization as the exponent characteristic of the Methodist movement. The influence of the movement on English Protestantism had tended to such a result, for in both England and America nearly all denominations had felt the power of the great revival not only during the days of Whitefield and Wesley, but ever since. Anglo-Saxon Christianity, in both hemispheres, had been quickened into new life, and had experienced a change amounting to a moral revolution. The magnificent apostolic idea of evangelization in all the earth, and till all the earth should be Christianized, had not only been restored, as a practical conviction, but had become pervasive and dominant in the consciousness of the Churches, and was manifestly thenceforward to shape the religious history of the Protestant world."

"Though American Methodism was many years without a distinct missionary organization, it was owing to the fact that its whole Church organization was essentially a missionary scheme."

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