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GREAT QUEEN STREET,
LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS,
WITH A BRIEF SKETCH OF THE ORIGIN AND PROGRESS
OF THE SOCIETY AND CONGREGATION.
“ Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all
i Kings viii. 56, 57.
Printed for the Trustees,
The first part of the following sketch was prepared, at Midsummer, 1840, for the Trustees, who thought that the statements it contains might be useful in exciting the Congregation and Society to contribute liberally in raising £2000 towards the Repairs and Improvements which they were about to commence. The desired end having been accomplished, the Trustees now wish to preserve from oblivion the facts and dates which have been collected and verified, that they may be useful to others; they have added very minute details of their own recent proceedings. They do not forget that in a few years the duties which they now perform, must devolve on others; and if this record of the events which they and their fathers have seen and known, should produce in the minds of their successors as firm a conviction, as they themselves have, that the cause of Wesleyan Methodism is the cause of God, they believe, that, the necessary consequence must be, that they will gladly and zealously devote themselves to the duties committed to them.
GREAT QUEEN STREET CHAPEL is one of the many trophies of the great Revival of Scriptural Religion which commenced in the early part of the Eighteenth Century, unquestionably a period the most unevangelical in the history of this country since the great Reformation, completed in the reign of Elizabeth. Infidelity was then extensively prevalent and openly avowed. Arian and Socinian errors were taught, even by men who ate the bread of the Established Church. The number of Clergymen who taught the doctrines of the Homilies was exceedingly small, and the character of the ministers of the Gospel, in general, even of those who were orthodox in doctrine, was deficient as to that moral influence which is always necessary to ministerial
These are facts not to be successfully denied: they were distinctly and sorrowfully stated by unexceptionable witnessesby Archbishop Secker; Bishops Burnet, Gibson, and Butler ; and amongst the Dissenters, by Dr. John Guyse, Dr. Isaac Watts, and the Revs. John Harrison and Abraham Taylor.*
Wesleyan Methodism arose out of the labours of the Revs. John and Charles Wesley, sons of the Rev. Samuel Wesley, Rector of Epworth, in Lincolnshire. John Wesley, the elder of the brothers, was born in 1703, and placed for education at the Charter-House in London in 1714. He was sent to Christ Church, Oxford, in 1720, where he distinguished himself by his classical attainments and elegant compositions. On being ordained a Deacon, in September 1725, by Dr. Potter, Bishop of Oxford, afterward Archbishop of Canterbury, he was roused from the religious apathy into which he had fallen, and applied himself diligently to the study of Divinity. He was elected Fellow of Lincoln College in 1726, and soon after, from his high literary character, Greek Lecturer, and Moderator of the Classes. He proceeded Master of Arts, in February 1727, and then became his Father's Curate. He returned to Oxford in 1729, with the intention of residing there as a Tutor, and then
* See “ Centenary of Methodism,” by the Rev. Thos. Jackson. 1840.