Christian Thought From the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Century/Methodism in England

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" the original Welsh it is 'The Dawn of Welsh Calvinistic Methodism'. Bennett gives an excellent account of this crucial experience. What was it? To me, there is only one expression to use. It was the expression used by these men themselves and by their successors. It was a baptism 'of fire' or a 'baptism of power'. What I would emphasize particularly is that Harris was already converted, had already received forgiveness of sins, and he knew that he had it, and had been dancing in joy. But it was now just over three weeks later that he received this crucial experience which turned him into a flaming evangelist. What was it? This is how he describes what happened as he was there sitting in the tower and reading and praying: 'Suddenly I felt my heart melting within me like wax before a fire, and love to God for my Saviour. I felt also not only love and peace, but a longing to die and to be with Christ. Then there came a cry into my soul within that I had never known before - Abba, Father! I could do nothing but call God my Father. I knew that I was His child, and He loved me and was listening to me. My mind was satisfied and I cried out, Now I am satisfied! Give me strength and I will follow Thee through water and fire'." (Martyn Lloyd-Jones: Howell Harris and Revival, 1973).

Eighteenth century Great Britain, together with France and the German states, appears as the world's main stage for "The Enlightenment Movement" that began in the seventeenth century. The purposeful application of reason in all matters of life and as first authority in any decision, attacked first and foremost various manifestations of Christian Thought.

  • How did Christian thinkers and writers in the British Empire react to this powerful movement?
  • Were there different responses and standpoints among Christian thinkers, and how did they look like?

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  • Is there any prominent British Christian thinker of the eighteenth century that is not published with his/her own page on Wikipedia?

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Howell Harris William Pantycelyn Williams J C Ryle

From left to right: Howell Harris, William Pantycelyn Williams, J C Ryle.

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