Contribution of Methodism to Atlantic Canada

Contribution of Methodism to Atlantic Canada

Copyright Date: 1992
Pages: 296
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    Contribution of Methodism to Atlantic Canada
    Book Description:

    Contents: "John Wesley and the Origins of Methodism" by Owen Chadwick; "Methodist Origins in Atlantic Canada" by John Webster Grant; "Laurence Coughlan and the Origins of Methodism in Newfoundland" by Hans Rollmann; "Henry Alline, William Black, and Nova Scotia's First Great Awakening" by George Rawlyk; "`Give All You Can': Methodists and Charitable Causes in Nineteenth Century Nova Scotia" by Allen B. Robertson; "Methodism and the Problem of Methodist Identity in Nineteenth-Century New Brunswick" by T.W. Acheson; "Prince Edward Island Methodist Prelude to Church Union, 1925" by James D. Cameron; "Methodism and Education in the Atlantic Provinces, 1800-1874" by Goldwin French; "The Golden Age of the Church College: Mount Allison's Encounter with `Modern Thought,' 1850-1890" by Michael Gauvreau; "Methodism and Methodist Poets in the Early Literature of Maritime Canada" by Thomas B. Vincent; "`In the Garden of Christ': Methodist Literary Women in Nineteenth-Century Maritime Canada" by Gwendolyn Davies; "Methodism and E.J. Pratt: A Study of the Methodist Background of a Canadian Poet and Its Influence on His Life and Work" by David G. Pitt; "The Singer's Response to the World: Charles Wesley's Hymns of Invitation" by James Dale; "Methodist Hymn Tunes in Atlantic Canada" by Fred K. Graham.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6322-3
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-2)
    Charles H.H. Scobie
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 3-8)

    George A. Rawlyk notes in this volume that “a small group of historians ... has thrust Henry Alline forward with such vigour” that the contributions to the religion and culture of the Maritime provinces of other denominations including the Methodist have gone largely unnoticed. One could add that in Newfoundland there has been a similar concentration on Roman Catholic historiography and that both Anglican and Presbyterian roots in the region have been more thoroughly explored in recent years than those of Methodism. The publication of these papers should help to right the balance and perhaps‚ even more impressively‚ demonstrate that...


    • 1 John Wesley and the Origins of Methodism
      (pp. 11-31)

      John Wesley was born the child of a Lincolnshire rector on 17 June 1703. By that year‚ the Reformation‚ as a movement of faith and love of the Bible and religious practice‚ had spread geographically from Siebenbürgen near the Carpathian mountains inside the Ottoman empire at the east‚ and even in some German settler communities along the Volga‚ to all the new communities along the Atlantic coast of North America. The mature Wesley had a range of vision about this. One would expect the child of a Lincolnshire parish‚ educated at a London school and then at Oxford University‚ with...

    • 2 Methodist Origins in Atlantic Canada
      (pp. 32-50)

      The spiritual energies released by John Wesley and his movement soon made themselves felt throughout English-speaking countries and beyond‚ often through unanticipated and unauthorized agencies. It is scarcely surprising‚ therefore‚ that the first references to the impact of Methodism in Atlantic Canada are elusive and evanescent. In the middle of the nineteenth century‚ the Methodist itinerant Charles Churchill noted in a current provincial almanac a reference to a visit to Halifax of two Methodist preachers in 1760,¹ while the Yorkshire farmers John Robinson and Thomas Rispin reported a Methodist preaching house in Halifax in the course of an exploratory trip...


    • 3 Laurence Coughlan and the Origins of Methodism in Newfoundland
      (pp. 53-76)

      On 27 October 1746‚ William Peaseley‚¹ a missionary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG) in Foreign Parts in St John’s‚ Newfoundland‚ wrote to his employer in London‚

      There is lately come among us one of Mr. Whitfield’s [sic] Disciples‚ who has taken upon him to pray & preach publickly; but as he is discountenanćd both by the Civil & Military Power‚ & has not one Follower‚ ‘tis to be hop’d he’ll soon find his attempt fruitless. We have not‚ I thank God‚ as yet been troubled with that Enthusiastick Spirit‚ which has rag’d so violently in...


    • 4 William Black‚ Henry Alline‚ and Nova Scotia’s First Great Awakening
      (pp. 79-91)

      George Orwell once perceptively observed that “he who controls the past controls the future.” Historians create the past; they tell us what happened and why‚ and they impose on their readers their own unique framework for understanding the interplay of events and personalities in some bygone era. Historians‚ of course‚ create badly distorted versions of the past; they continue “to look in a glass darkly” - despite many of their protestations to the contrary. Their distorted versions‚ however‚ often become the so-called historical truth‚ and consequently they significantly shape the contours of emerging historiography and the actual writing of history....

    • 5 “Give All You Can”: Methodists and Charitable Causes in Nineteenth-Century Nova Scotia
      (pp. 92-104)

      Methodism‚ as envisioned by Wesley and his successors‚ was to bring about gradual social reformation as mankind changed one soul at a time by the process of individual spiritual regeneration. It was hoped that in time the whole culture would be altered by this progressive transformation into one at once more compassionate and just‚ since all actions following conversion were to be guided by Christian principles. With Christ at the centre of each life‚ there would be an outwardly radiating influence for good that would be seen in changes in attitude and action among peoples of every class and occupation....


    • 6 Methodism and the Problem of Methodist Identity in Nineteenth-Century New Brunswick
      (pp. 107-124)
      T.W. ACHESON

      Methodists ranked last among the five major religious groups found in the 1871 census of New Brunswick. In contrast to its own early expansion in the colony‚ and to the experience in Ontario‚ where Methodism was the most dynamic and rapidly growing religious tradition throughout the century‚ New Brunswick Methodism grew less rapidly in the post-Napoleonic years than did the population of the whole colony. The traditional explanation argues that the evangelical initiative in the colony passed from the Methodists to the Baptists in the early nineteenth century. While it is clear that this did‚ in fact‚ happen‚ that explanation...


    • 7 Prince Edward Island Methodist Prelude to Church Union‚ 1925
      (pp. 127-144)

      On 10 June 1925‚ the Methodist Church of Canada on Prince Edward Island vanished permanently. Its members‚ along with their counterparts in the other provinces‚ slid placidly into the new and large United Church of Canada‚ which was formed by merging the Methodist Church with Congregationalists and about two-thirds of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Marguerite Van Die has recently noted that‚ “for Methodists‚ some of the structures for such a union were clearly in place from the earlier period of revivalism: a tradition of interdenominational cooperation in education‚ social reform‚ and missions‚ and an understanding of religion which valued...


    • 8 Methodism and Education in the Atlantic Provinces‚ 1800-1874
      (pp. 147-168)

      At the beginning of the nineteenth century‚ the future Atlantic provinces‚ in common with the other British North American colonies‚ had few educational institutions.¹ Seventy-five years later‚ however‚ the foundations of systems of elementary and secondary schools had been laid‚ and numerous colleges and universities had been established in the area. Moreover‚ a measure of consensus had been reached on the principles that would govern the relationship between the several provincial communities and the schools and universities and on the values that could be embodied legitimately in their teaching and practice.²

      In 1800‚ too‚ at the instigation of William Black‚...

    • 9 The Golden Age of the Church College: Mount Allison’s Encounter with “Modern Thought‚” 1850–1890
      (pp. 169-186)

      Speaking at the end of the 1860s‚ Matthew Arnold declared that Bishop Butler’sAnalogy‚ perhaps the greatest eighteenth-century work of Christian apologetic‚ was‚ “for all real intents and purposes now‚ a failure.” The celebrated English critic lamented that this work “seemed once to have a spell and a power; but theZeit-Geistbreathes upon it‚ and we rub our eyes‚ and it has the spell and the power no longer.”¹ Arnold charged that Butler’s attempts to prove the truth of Christian revelation by affirming a connection between nature and Scripture and by basing the truth and authority of the Bible...


    • 10 Methodism and Methodist Poets in the Early Literature of Maritime Canada
      (pp. 189-204)

      The focus of this chapter is on poetic activity in the pre-Confederation literature of Maritime Canada‚ and particularly on the role that Methodist poets and Methodist publications played in nurturing and developing local poetry during this period. But‚ while the focus may be regional‚ it is important to recognize that almost all features of emerging colonial societies draw their general character from some broader cultural context. Not surprisingly‚ the basic pattern of the relationship between Methodism and literature in Maritime Canada was shaped initially in Great Britain. From its beginning‚ the Methodist movement instinctively recognized the importance of language and...

    • 11 “In the Garden of Christ”: Methodist Literary Women in Nineteenth-Century Maritime Canada
      (pp. 205-217)

      In the mid-nineteenth century‚ recalls Charles Bell in an informal memoir‚ “there were perhaps more wealthy men in Brunswick Street [Methodist Church] than in any other church” in Halifax. “As a consequence” of this‚ he notes, “many of the young ladies became very dressy‚ and this offended the old-fashioned Methodists‚ who quoted Scripture and Wesley’s rules‚ and hymns against worldliness. It was the day of crinolines‚ and my recollections are of young ladies coming up the aisle with skirts so full they had to be pressed in before they could get into the pews. Feathers‚ ribbons‚ flowers‚ jewels‚ and gaily...

    • 12 Methodism and E.J. Pratt: A Study of the Methodist Background of a Canadian Poet and Its Influence on His Life and Work
      (pp. 218-234)

      In hisWriting of Canadian History‚ Carl Berger notes that certain Canadian biographers “have rendered illuminating studies of religion as both a positive and negative force in the lives of individuals.”¹ He describes the first volume of my biography of E.J. Pratt² as “virtually organized around the story of Pratt’s rejection of Methodism‚”³ suggesting that I have seen Methodism in Pratt’s life as a negative force. This is‚ of course‚ largely true. The title‚The Truant Years‚ was prompted mainly by Pratt’s truancy from what his father‚ Rev. John Pratt‚ called the “Methodist Way.” It was‚ of course‚ prompted also...


    • 13 The Singer’s Response to the World: Charles Wesley’s Hymns of Invitation
      (pp. 237-256)

      On Whit Sunday 1738‚ Charles Wesley experienced his evangelical conversion. He immediately began writing hymns‚ unleashing a torrent of verse that was to continue for the rest of his life. A high proportion of the hymns is vividly personal in tone and content; the writer and the singers unite in seeking and sharing a variety of religious experiences. The hymns are designed to elicit response — response that is insisted upon. There is evidence for this in a number of early Methodist sources‚ among them Charles Wesley’s ownJournal(despite its regrettably fragmentary state) and the biographies written by the early...

    • 14 Methodist Hymn Tunes in Atlantic Canada
      (pp. 257-268)

      Reformed Protestantism in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries had confined congregational song largely to the singing of psalms‚ which were published in metrical form and sung to a somewhat limited repertoire of tunes. The 1562 “Old Version” of the psalms was succeeded by Tate and Brady’s more accessible “New Version” in 1696. Isaac Watts (1674-1748)‚ dissatisfied with what was available‚ began to write freer versions‚ which led to his writing of hymns reflective of Christian scriptures and life. With the publication of his own first collection in 1706‚ a new wave of evangelical song began to roll.

      The way was...

  13. List of Contributors
    (pp. 269-274)
  14. Index
    (pp. 275-281)