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chapter. The first is, that all these arrangements, par. ticularly the funds, have been providentially demanded. Nothing has been devised before its time, and ncthing really matured for many years after its first discussion. This circumstance ought to encourage the younger members of the Wesleyan family to s try again,” and never to cease discussing important practical questions till they shall have hit upon the right plan, and seen it in successful operation.
Another thought, which might not occur to the reader from what has been said, is, that these several plans and measures, though providentially suggested, were the result of profound study. Not merely during the sessions of the Conference. The Conference seemed generally to be impressed that the necessary brevity of their sessions, and other circumstances, would not admit of the needful investigation. Therefore, when they found themselves approaching the crisis, when something must be done, they appointed large committees, embracing the wisdom of the ministry and the laity, and designated the time and place of their meeting. In these committees the matter was deliberately dissected limb by limb, every weakness and impracticability detected, and the whole consolidated and adapted to the Wesleyan system, so that, if approved by the Conference, it might become a part of that system, and seem indispensable to its healthful operation. But another advantage of this course was, the plan, when it came out, was as much the people's as the preachers', and was, in a great degree, to be managed by them. This gave it popularity, and secured its success.
To the reader of this sketch, these regulations may seem complicated. This is their first appearance to a stranger. But if one will examine them more closely, he will find them complicated, indeed, yet simple ; and, taken together, the most finished and effective scheme of raising money extant. How else could such an interest be kept up, and such vast amounts of money be raised in a society embracing few of the wealthy, and composed chiefly of the poorer classes, many of whom are objects of charity themselves, and all of whom are exorbitantly taxed to support the extravagance of the Episcopal Church - taxed for every thing - not only for what they eat, and drink, and wear, but for the very light of heaven that shines upon them, and often oppressed in their wages, too, and compelled to work long and hard for what will scarcely procure them the coarsest fare ? Should their children imitate the parent in this respect, Methodism would soon fill the whole earth.
The history of European Methodism is not complete, noi is a sketch of that history just, which does not refer to other sects taking rank under this general title. The
The Wesleyan Connection does not embrace all who revere the name of its founder. There are several minor bodies of Methodists which claim our attention. I. THE CALVINISTIC METHODISTS.
This title comprehends two distinct denominations, one of which never had any connection with Wesley, and the other but little. We refer to the “ Welch Calvinistic Methodists," and the “ Whitefield, or Lady Hundingdon.Connection.” The first originated in Wales about the time the Wesleys began to attract attention in England. They have been a zealous people, and have succeeded in doing much good. In 1850 they reported 186 ministers, 241 local preachers, and 58,930 members. The Whitefield, 0 Lady Hundingdon Connection, was organized under the labors of Mr. Whitefield, patronized by the Countess of Hundingdon. The congregations connected with this sect are about ninety in number. In some of its chapels the service of the church is read. In others, the forms of the Independents are observed. A sort of itinerancy is also maintained, the respective congregations employing the
same minister but a few weeks in succession. There 18, however, little system or efficiency in it, and the congregations are fast relapsing into Independency.
This off-shoot from the parent Methodist stock, if it can properly be called such, is remarkable in one or two partio ulars. The first is, that it has the honor of being the only one that ever occurred on doctrinal grounds; a circumstance of great significance. The other, that it was conducted by persons of high rank and influence. Mr. Whitefield was a man of unbounded reputation as a Christian and pulpit orator; his theology was popular, and his leading supporters persons of wealth and distinction. But 66 the race is not to the swift, ror the battle to the strong."
II. THE NEW METHODIST CONNECTION, sometimes called Kilhamites, after one Alexander Kilham, a leading man in its organization, was originally composed of seceders from the Wesleyan societies. There were individuals in the connection at the time of Mr. Wesley's death who were dissatisfied with his system, and hoped for a change. They did not fancy its peaceable policy toward the church, or its gov. ernment. After much noisy discussion, several societies sent delegates to the Conference held at Leeds in the year 1797, who demanded a change in the government settled by Mr. Wesley's Deed. For important reasons, the Conference did not see fit fully to acquiesce in their wishes; whereupon they immediately assembled, and adopted a system of itinerancy and government according with their peculiar views, and went into operation under the title of 66 The New Connection.” Their treatment of the Confer. ence was very severe, and threatened serious consequences; but it was too manifestly unjust to be successful.
A few disaffected ones in different places seceded and joined them, making an aggregate of some five thousand.
And they have done no better since. A correspondent, who has lived among them many years, writes : “ They started under most favorable auspices, and they have been now nearly eighty years vigorously striving to extend themselves, and yet, up to 1874, they have not much exceeded 33,000 members and 240 ministers; while the parent body from which they separated has increased from 75,000 members to 550,473, notwithstanding several other secessions that have operated to thin its ranks and swell those of the New Connection."
III. PRIMITIVE METHODIST CONNECTION. - This denom nation originated in Staffordshire, under the united leadership of two brothers, local preachers, by the name of Bourne. Hearing from Lorenzo Dow about the work of God at our camp meetings, and being anxious to be more useful, in the year 1807 they began to hold field meetings, for which they were rebuked, and afterward expelled. They, however, continued their efforts, and were successful ; but formed no distinct classes till 1810, when the organization of the Primitive Connection was effected, embracing the expelled members, and such others as agreed with them. They did not secede, had no war with the old church, did not leave it willingly, and have never had much controversy with it since. Though they have received such from the Wesleyans as desired admission to their ranks, they long since passed an act, that any member of their Conference being guilty of denouncing or criminating another branch of the Christian church, should by that act cease to be a member.
Thus, living at peace with all men, and adopting the most liberal and energetic measures, they have prospered exceedingly. They hold annual and quarterly meetings, maintain the itinerancy, and other Methodist peculiarities, and are a