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VOLUME XLIII.— FOURTH SERIES, VOLUME XIII.
D. D. WHEDON, D.D., EDITOR.
200 MULBERRY-STRE ET.
METHODIST QUARTERLY REVIEW.
· JANUARY, 1861.
ART. I.-METHODISM AFTER WESLEY'S DEATH.
METHODISTS have always been trustful believers in divine providence. Their founder taught them to be such both by his example and doctrine. He left them a notable sermon on the subject, in which he denied the common distinction between a “general” and a “particular” providence, and included the latter in the former. Much of the “morale” of Methodism has been owing to the prevalent belief of its people that it has been signalized by providence, and that, therefore, extraordinary providential designs are to be accomplished by it.
Thus far there have been three well-defined stages in its progress.
The first is comprised in the period of Wesley's personal ministry, in which it began, extended in both hemispheres, and was at last more or less consolidated into an organic system. The second was its testing period, its great seven years' war of “fiery trial,” from the death of Wesley to near the beginning of the nineteenth century. At the conclusion of this probation its fidelity was rewarded by remarkable prosperity, and by the sudden appearance in its ranks of men of extraordinary capacity, who quickly elevated its intellectual character, confirmed its system, and developed its energy in plans for universal missionary conquest. This missionary development may be considered its third and, it is to be hoped, its permanent stage; permanent at least till the evangelization of
FOURTH SERIES, VOL. XIII.-1