Charles Wesley and the Struggle For Methodist Identity
"Charles Wesley (1707-88) has been a problematic figure for church historians. The great hymn-writer's contribution to Methodism, the Anglican Church and the eighteenth-century Evangelical Revival has been seen primarily in terms of his poetic work. His vital role in other...
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"Charles Wesley (1707-88) has been a problematic figure for church historians. The great hymn-writer's contribution to Methodism, the Anglican Church and the eighteenth-century Evangelical Revival has been seen primarily in terms of his poetic work. His vital role in other areas of ministry has been consistently undervalued and perceived through a filter imposed by scholars who have had Charles's brother John Wesley as the main focus of their attention." "Gareth Lloyd examines Charles's personal contribution to the birth and early history of the Evangelical movement against the background of his tempestuous relationship with John Wesley and the difficult early years of what became the Methodist Church. In particular, he presents a strong argument that Charles Wesley's pro-Anglican viewpoint was shared by many of the brothers' followers and had as great an impact on the shaping of Methodist identity as the better-known opinions of those who wished to separate from the Church of England. Out of this struggle came a denomination rooted in its Anglican past but with an evangelical dynamic that produced one of the great success stories of the post-Reformation Church." "Lloyd makes extensive use of previously neglected or unknown primary documents to present a substantial reappraisal of Charles Wesley's ministry, which in turn permits a new interpretation of aspects of early Methodism in its relationship with the Church of England and the wider Evangelical Revival."--BOOK JACKET.
An important new study of the life and ministry of the Anglican minister and Evangelical leader Charles Wesley (1707-88) which examines the often-neglected contribution made by John Wesley's younger brother to the early history of the Methodist movement. Charles Wesley's importance as the author of classic hymns like `Love Divine' and `O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing' is well known, but his wider contribution to Methodism, the Church of England and the Evangelical Revival has been overlooked. Gareth Lloyd presents a new appraisal of Charles Wesley based on his own papers and those of his friends and enemies. The picture of the Revival that results from a fresh examination of one of Methodism's most significant leaders offers a new perspective on the formative years of a denomination that today has an estimated 80 million members worldwide.
Gareth Lloyd is Methodist Church Archivist, John Rylands University Library, Manchester.<BR>
- 1. The Epworth Experience; 2. Brothers In Arms: The Early Relationship And Shared Ministry Of John And Charles Wesley; 3. Co-operation, Conflict, And Controversy During The Early Years Of The Revival; 4. Charles Wesley The Paradoxical Anglican; 5. Engagements And Marriages; 6. Methodism In The Early 1750s; 7. Continuing Family Quarrels And The Methodist Opinion Of Charles Wesley; 8. A New Phase Of Charles Wesley's Ministry; 9. Methodism At The Crossroads; 10. Charles Wesley: His Final Years And Legacy; 11. Concluding Remarks