“The little cloud increaseth still
which first arose upon Mow Hill”
Welcome to a website which focuses on Primitive Methodism, Wesleyan Methodism and other old-time evangelical Methodism – not “old” as if focusing on the past alone, but in the sense of the faith that was spread with such blessing by the Wesley brothers and their preachers and people, by the Primitive Methodists, and by the West Country Bible Christians, and is still held by many today! The site is a resource for articles and books about the beliefs, ethos, sufferings, expansion and decline of Methodism. Here you find my writings, others’ writings, and details of my speaking engagements.
The name PRIMITIVE METHODIST originated with John Wesley, as this reference shows:
“Fellow labourers, wherever there is an open door, enter in and preach the Gospel. If it be two or three under a hedge or a tree, preach the Gospel. Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in the poor, the maimed , the halt, and the blind.” … Then lifting up his slender hands, while the tears flowed freely down his venerable face, he exclaimed: “And yet there is room!” He then added with emphasis: “And this was the way the primitive Methodists did.”
– William E. Farndale writing of John Wesley aged 87 in The Secret of Mow Cop.
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Here are some other quotations that will give you a flavour of the themes and concerns of the website:
I love to think of our church in the dawn of her glory. I love her because of the volcanic fire of her heart, the thrill of song, the buoyant testimony of her saints. I love her because of her unquenchable ideals, the largeness of her hope, the untiring energies of her faith, the freedom of her spirit, and the elasticity and adaptability of her methods.
– Rev. F. W. Harper, Brinkworth and Swindon District Synod Souvenir and Hand
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It would not be difficult to show that … wherever men or churches have allowed themselves to be dominated and carried away by these modern conceptions of Christian truth, there is witnessed a general decay of zeal and effort for the salvation of mankind. Indeed, we observe that in proportion as our creed loses its evangelical tone, our spiritual life becomes less earnest and influential in the great work to which we have been called of God. … In these times … it becomes us to ‘contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints.’
– Robert Harrison, Quarterly Review, 1884
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We feel a jealous concern for the soundness of our doctrinal teaching. … If Primitive Methodists will not have ‘Ichabod’ inscribed on their sanctuaries they must resolutely retain the substance of the doctrines contained in their Deed Poll, and ‘hold fast the form of sound words’ contained in the New Testament.
– Rev. Dr Samuel Antliff, Quarterly Review, 1886
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They left the church a rich inheritance – the memory of Christian lives – and it should be the ambition of those who survive to emulate their zeal and piety, and hand down to their descendants as rich a gift, and as glorious an inheritance, as their fathers did.
– Rev. Henry Woodcock (1889), Piety among the Peasantry: being sketches of Primitive Methodism on the Yorkshire Wolds (London: Toulson)
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We who remain need to take a care not to perpetuate the myth that you have can have a strong and certain Christian witness while extolling doubt in the atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ and other core essentials. We are called to praise our God and to lift the people to faith in Christ’s finished work! God has spoken, and we can understand what He has said, to His eternal praise and glory! The flame of early Primitive Methodism still burns, let us not hide it under a bushel.
– Richard White-Watts, Pastor, Independent Primitive Methodist Chapel,