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John Wesley Persecuted by a Mob

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In light of Carol’s persecution by some demonized crazies on Good Friday, I was reminded that some things never change. Read the account of John Wesley’s persecution as he preached the Gospel in Great Britain during the 18th century.

See the larger image here.

In their mission to bring the Christian message to every town and village in Great Britain, the 18th century Methodist preachers travelled extensively.

They would arrive at a place, attempt to preach in one of the churches or, failing that, in a market place or at a fair.

Their style was engaging and they spoke with authority and grace. Wesley described their work as ‘offering pardon to sinners’.

But they didn’t always receive a warm welcome. While many thousands gathered to hear the message, some reacted negatively. Sometimes fuelled by jealous clergy, or fearful ‘Gentlemen’, and sometimes by a basic reaction of anger, the preachers faced violence fairly regularly. This was a different type of spiritual warfare.

John Wesley, making an entry in his journal for 20th June 1743, wrote,

‘Before five the mob surrounded the house again, in greater numbers than ever. The cry of one and all was, “Bring out the Minister! We will have the Minister!” Read the rest of the account here.

8 Comments

  1. Hahahahah! ‘…persecution by some demonized atheists…”

    Oh Steve, you do make me laugh sometimes.

    LOL. 🙂

  2. Steve,

    You know on March 31st when you said;

    “Perdita,

    You bring up some very good points. Let me look into this further. I may want to drop an email to CRI to get their response. Thanks.”

    What did you mean by that?

    Cheers,

  3. Thanks for changing the wording, Steve.

    You do realize that the people persecuting Wesley considered themselves Christian and Wesley the heretic, right?

  4. So protestant on protestant violence? Anglican vs Methodist? That overly extended set of articles never did explain what the charges were meant to be.

  5. ExPat said: Oh Steve, you do make me laugh sometimes.

    LOL.

    Remember, the motto of this blog: Evangelism… with a sense of humor!

    And for your second question: You know on March 31st when you said;

    “Perdita,

    You bring up some very good points. Let me look into this further. I may want to drop an email to CRI to get their response. Thanks.”

    What did you mean by that?

    I meant that I may want to drop an email. But since you may apparently have more time than I, you are welcome to send them one with perdita’s responses. I will even allow you to post them in the comments! 🙂

    To perdita: I’m aware of that the “religious” people of Wesley’s time thought that they were Christians; so did those during the Inquisition, the Crusades, etc. As you know, Jesus said that “You will know them by their fruit.”

    A true Christian will attempt to do the following, obeying Christ’s commands in Luke 6:

    27″But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.

    32″If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full.

    35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

    Unfortunately, many of us, including myself, fall far short of these commands at times.

  6. Steve, I wasn’t making a potshot. I just thought it strange to compare ‘persecution by some demonized atheists’ to Christian persecution of other Christians, thats all.

    And somethings do change – we don’t burn or hang people for heresy, yay! That makes both you and me a bit safer. (I do realize that there is persecution in other parts of the world – but, it’s not just Christians being persecuted. Some are the persecutors. An us vs. them, if-you’re-not-with-us-you’re-with-Satan mentality only fuels this.)

  7. I understand that you were not taking a shot. I just wanted to clarify for the others reading this post. Thanks a lot!

  8. Ah, so once again Steve ducks out of doing his own homework and wants someone else to do it for him. For shame.

    You see, Steve, this is why we were telling you that there was no point in explaining evolution to you; because you really don’t care to learn, do you?

    So why ask?

    And no Steve, I don’t have more time than you (I have a real job). I just care about being honest, is all.

    Cheers,

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