John Wesley and the Methodist Church- Analysis of “Methodism and the Christian Heritage in England”

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I have been a firm believer that if one does not understand where you come from you can have little understanding of where your heading. The first thirty-two pages of the book on “Methodism and the Christian Heritage in England” gave a background as to Wesley’s foundation that so many authors overlook. The first page summed it up best in: “The long course of English ecclesiastical history met the force of a new concern for renewal, both individual and institutional. A long tradition of propositional certainty of faith met the power of a personal experience of faith. An institution built by and for the establishment met a concern for the souls and bodies of the disenfranchised” (p.1, Heitzenrater). This explained the transformation of…show more content…
15, Heitzenrater). He was stripped of his ability to preach and in his mid-twenties would “spend the remaining years of his life in a variety of pulpits and prisons” (p. 15, Heitzenrater). The Act of Toleration of 1689 was enacted to accommodate the nonconformists to the Thirty-Nine Articles to legally exist “under certain prescribed conditions: (1) meeting houses must be registered with the government; (2) dissenting preachers must be licensed; (3) meetings for worship must be held in the registered meeting houses, not in private homes; (4) Roman Catholic or Unitarian groups were not to be included under these provision. Many privileges of English citizenship thereby became dependent upon conformity to the official doctrines of the Church-subscription to the Articles was required of all who matriculated at the universities, of all who held public office, of all who held commissions in the armed forces, and of all who wished to vote in elections (p. 17, Heitzenrater). The formation of small groups knows as collegia pietatis in Spencer’s plan and the English version, the religious societies. How these groups formed, and purpose: “their approach was aimed more toward quality than quantity and was grounded more in the process of nurture than conversion” (p. 22, Heitzenrater). “The stated purpose of the societies was to promote “real holiness of heart and life.” The meetings were designed primarily to offer mutual encouragement in the development of devotional piety

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