Incorporating The Wesley Fellowship Quarterly
CHAIRMAN: Rev. Dr Herbert B. McGonigle
JOINT SECRETARY / TREASURER (FROM 1 APRIL 2008):
SECRETARY (UNTIL 31 MARCH 2008): Mr Paul S. Taylor, M.A., Stonebridge Cottage, Back
BOOK/TAPE SALES: Rev. Tony Tamburello, 13 Charles
Street, Colne, Lancashire , BB8 0LY
PUBLISHING: Mr Paul S. Taylor (after 31 March 2008)
EDITOR : William T. Graham Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
WITHOUT PORTFOLIO: Mr John Gibby
FROM THE CHAIRMAN
On Saturday 3rd November last year the Wesley Fellowship and the League of Prayer joined in a united day of fellowship and ministry in Birmingham. A number of people joined us for the first time and the day’s programme was very well received. Mr Daniel Howson (Faith Mission) preached in the morning session and the Lord’s Word was very challenging and helpful. The WF Chairman, Dr Herbert McGonigle, brought the afternoon Paper, entitled, ‘Fire on the Hill: The 1807 Mow Cop Camp-meetings’. The year 2007 was not only the tercentenary of Charles Wesley’s birth but it was also the bicentenary of the Mow Cop revival that gave birth to Primitive Methodism. The Wesley Fellowship celebrated the tercentenary at its April residential Conference, and the bicentenary at the November meeting.
Our next joint Wesley Fellowship and League of Prayer meeting is on Saturday 19 April, at Zion Church of the Nazarene in Birmingham. In the morning session our WF Secretary, Mr Paul Taylor, will read a Paper on James Montgomery (1771-1854) the Moravian hymn-writer. Montgomery wrote many fine hymns, including ‘Angels from the realms of glory,’ ‘Stand up and bless the Lord,’ ‘Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire,’ ‘O Spirit of the living God,’ and ‘Forever with the Lord.’ One of his most popular hymns proved to be his excellent paraphrase of Psalm 72; ‘Hail to the Lord’s Anointed’. Dr Adam Clarke (1760-1832), Wesley preacher, scholar and commentator, thought so highly of this hymn that he expressed the hope that Montgomery would ‘favour the Church with a metrical version of the whole book [of Psalms].’ Paul Taylor has a long-time interest in Montgomery’s life and work and this Paper is sure to be informative and stimulating. Don’t miss it! And we’ll be singing some of Montgomery’s hymns! In the afternoon, the Revd Barry Hall, pastor of Weston-super-Mare Church of the Nazarene, will preach on scriptural holiness. Barry is one of Nazarene Theological College’s graduates and his biblically-based ministry is much appreciated. So Saturday April 19 promises to be an inspiring day! The Wesley Fellowship and the League of Prayer share the same common Wesleyan heritage. They also share the same conviction and concern that John Wesley expressed when he spoke about ‘spreading scriptural holiness over the land.’ Please make sure you have this date and location in your diary.
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Question: Can you please help me with a John Wesley quotation that I’ve heard a number of times but each time the words were a little different. It’s about Wesley saying that a hundred preachers would soon bring revival. Did he actually say that?
Answer: He certainly did write about how he wanted one hundred totally-dedicated preachers to advance the work of God. In a 1777 letter to Mr Alexander Mather, one of his longest-serving travelling preachers, Wesley wrote. ‘Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen, such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven upon earth’ (J. Wesley, Letters, 6:271, 272). Of particular interest here is John Wesley’s acknowledgement that in the work of preaching and ministry, laymen may be as much used of God as ordained ministers. In his lifetime John Wesley had a very small number of ordained clergy who were willing to be Methodist preachers but nearly all his itinerant preachers were laymen.
Question: Recently I saw a hymn, said to have been written by John Wesley, which spoke about the Jews returning to Israel and becoming Christians. Do you know anything about this hymn?
Answer: The hymn in question was written by Charles Wesley and published in 1762. John Wesley included it in his 1780 hymn-book, A Collection of Hymns for the use of the People called Methodists, and for that reason is mistakenly referred to as John Wesley’s hymn. It was also included in the 1875 A Collection of Hymns ..., and in the 1904 Methodist Hymn Book, but excluded from The Methodist Hymn Book (1933). Charles based the hymn on Isaiah 66:19, a passage that speaks about the re-gathering of Israel to Mount Zion and from there the gospel will go out to all the nations of the world. The hymn begins: ‘Almighty God of Love,’ and pictures converted Jews proclaiming Christ as the Messiah. (Note: Italics & spelling used below is from Charles’ text).
From Abraham’s favour’d seed
Adding the words of Paul in Romans 11:26, ‘And so all Israel will be saved,’ Charles wrote:
We know, it must be done,
This hymn, which can be said to represent the views of both John and Charles Wesley, is well worth studying relative to how the Wesleys read scripture in terms of Israel’s future in God’s plans.
NB The full text of this hymn will appear soon on the WF website.
Note : Dr McGonigle is willing to consider questions on Wesleyan theology, history and experience for answers in the WF Bulletin, also locating Wesley quotes, etc. Such questions should be sent in the first instance via the Secretary.
GENERAL NOTICES, NEWS & NOTES
1. Wesley Fellowship Secretary Retires
On 31 March 2008 our Wesley Fellowship Secretary, Mr Paul Taylor, retires from the post of Wesley Fellowship Hon Secretary, after nearly 20 years of outstanding service to the Fellowship. Indeed, Paul has not only taken on the very demanding role of WF Secretary but has also acted as WF Treasurer for all those years! Paul has taken on this vital work for the Fellowship and done it with wisdom that only comes from the Lord. His excellent service has been efficient and effective in every department he has undertaken. We owe him a debt of gratitude for the indefatigable, yet gentle, kind, and encouraging way he has kept the administrative side of the Fellowship on the road through times that have not always been easy for him personally, having experienced family illness and bereavement. It needs to be stated that, in his work as WF Secretary, Paul has enjoyed splendid support from his wife, Margaret – indeed, anyone who has attended any WF residential conference will have witnessed at first hand some of her generally hidden contribution! So we put on record our appreciation and grateful thanks to Paul, and to Margaret, for superb service rendered to the Fellowship. We praise the Lord that Paul has agreed to continue to sit on the WF Executive Committee, and to give particular attention to handling publication/printing arrangements for the Fellowship (a task he has organised adeptly and with careful attention to detail for many years).
2. New appointees as WF Secretary/Treasurer
We are delighted to announce that Wesley Fellowship members, Mr Alistair Barclay and his wife Mrs Valerie Barclay have, from 1 April 2008 (after Mr Paul Taylor retires), agreed to take over, jointly, the work of WF Secretary and Treasurer. We thank them for being prepared to take on this important work. As they are also members of the League of Prayer, their appointment should help ensure that any joint meetings of WF and L of P will continue to work smoothly. Please note: after 1 April 2008, all Wesley Fellowship Secretary/Treasurer business correspondence should be directed to Mr & Mrs Barclay at their Sheffield address. Apart from the changes outlined regarding Secretary/Treasurer, all other WF Executive responsibilities will remain unchanged.
3. Membership Subscriptions
Membership subscriptions for 2008-2009 become due on 1st April 2008. We value your membership and do hope that you will be able to continue to support the Fellowship. We have enclosed a payment slip for your use to renew your subscription with this mailing of the Bulletin. Please send subscriptions to the new Joint Secretary/Treasurers (their contact details are on the front page of the Bulletin, as well as on the form). We again thank members for their continuing fellowship and support. Incidentally, please remember to inform the Secretary if your address changes at any time during the year – unless this is done promptly, important communications from us to you can easily go astray!
4. Matters for Prayer
We were very sad to learn of the passing of Mrs Sylvia Mulligan who went to be with the Lord last November. Dr McGonigle has stated that she was ‘highly esteemed by all who knew her, a wonderful hostess and a shining Christian. She exemplified Christian holiness’. As many members will know, Sylvia was the wife of our highly respected member, Dr Osmond Mulligan, who lives in Northern Ireland (although many in England will remember him with much affection after enjoying meeting him last year at the WF residential conference at Swanwick, Derbyshire). We need to keep our brother in our prayers at this time of loss.
5. April 2008 Meeting of the Wesley Fellowship
The next regular meeting of the Wesley Fellowship will be on Saturday 19 April 2008 at Zion Church of the Nazarene, Brearley Street, Handsworth, Birmingham, B21 0JJ. Again we thank the Pastor, the Revd Fred Calvert, and members of the church, for their hospitality and providing drinks. The day will begin informally with arrivals from 10.30am ready for a formal and prompt start at 11.00am. The meeting will end by 3.30pm. This will be only the second time that the Wesley Fellowship and the League of Prayer have held a joint meeting (the first occasion being last November at the same venue). It proved to be a most enjoyable and well-attended time of united fellowship - little wonder, perhaps, when it is remembered that both groups are enthusiastically committed to Wesleyan doctrine and experience!
During the morning session, Mr Paul S. Taylor, M.A., Executive Member of the Wesley Fellowship, will present a Paper entitled ‘An Introduction to the Life and Work of James Montgomery’. Paul is an enthusiastic researcher into this remarkable Christian hymnologist and poet with Moravian, Methodist, and Anglican associations. Montgomery had connections with Scotland, Ulster, and England (particularly Yorkshire), and, amongst other activities, was a newspaper editor whose supposedly ‘seditious’ views landed him in prison more than once, but who ended his long life as a Christian hero - and literally put the whole of his adopted Sheffield into mourning at his death in 1854…come and learn more! Indeed, Paul’s paper will be a kind of ‘taster’ for a book on the same subject which he is working on at present and hopes to see published in due course.
Following a break for (our own packed) lunch, we are very pleased to announce that, in the afternoon session the Revd T. Barry Hall, Th.B., Secretary of the Church of the Nazarene British Isles South District, and pastor of the Weston-super-Mare Church of the Nazarene, will be the preacher, invited by the League of Prayer for this second joint meeting of the League of Prayer and the Wesley Fellowship.
PLEASE BOOK THE DATE – PLAN TO COME – BRING FRIENDS – ALL ARE WELCOME!
6. Autumn 2008 Meeting of the Wesley Fellowship
Although details of speakers and arrangements are not yet finalised, the autumn meeting of the Wesley Fellowship this year is planned for 10.30, with a prompt start at 11.00am, on Saturday 1 November 2008 at Zion Church of the Nazarene, Brearley Street, Handsworth, Birmingham, B21 0JJ. The meeting will take the usual format with a break for lunch and should end by 3.30pm.
7. Manchester Wesley Research Centre (MWRC) Lectures
(a) The Fourth MWRC Lecture, will take place at 5.00pm on Monday June 23rd, 2008 at the Maclagan Chapel on the campus of Nazarene Theological College, Dene Road, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2GU. The lecturer will be Dr Isabel Rivers, MA (Cantab), MA, PhD (Columbia), Professor of Eighteenth-Century English Literature and Culture, at Queen Mary, University of London. Prof Rivers’ lecture will be based on her research interests, which include the Dissenting, Methodist and Evangelical Literary Culture 1660-1830. She is the author or editor of numerous books and papers in this field, such as 'John Wesley and Religious Biography', in John Wesley: Tercentenary Essays, ed. Jeremy Gregory, Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, 85 (2003), 209–26, and is currently writing Vanity Fair and the Celestial City: Dissenting, Methodist, and Evangelical Literary Culture in England, 1720–1800.
(b) For those who like to keep their diaries filled well in advance, it has been recently announced that the Fifth Manchester Wesley Research Centre Lecture will be delivered (DV) on Monday 22 June 2009 at the campus of Nazarene Theological College, Manchester by Dr D. Bruce Hindmarsh, the James M. Houston Professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia. His acclaimed volume on John Newton and the English Evangelical Tradition: Between the Conversions of Wesley and Wilberforce (1996) should be recommendation enough! His recent landmark study, The Evangelical Conversion Narrative: Spiritual Autobiography in Early Modern England (2005), is a further reason for not wanting to miss this lecture!
NOTICES ON ‘REDUCED PRICE’ BOOK AVAILABILITY
Bold as a Lion: The Life of John Cennick (1718-1755) Moravian Evangelist by Peter Gentry and Paul Taylor (Life Publications, Leicester, 2007. pp. 176, illus. pbk., £7.95. ISBN: 978-0-9554594-0-5).
If you have not yet read this life of John Cennick, the 18th century hymn writer and evangelist, there is now an opportunity to do so at the reduced price of £7.95 inclusive of UK postage & packing - cheques should be made payable to ‘Paul Taylor (2)’. Dr John Vickers, the distinguished Methodist historian, who, although always fair in his book reviews, is a noted stern critic of writers or publishers who produce, in his estimate, books of poorly researched history, has, in the latest issue (February 2008) of the Proceedings of the Wesley Historical Society, given this book by two WF members a good review, and writes that ‘It is as an attractive personality and a dedicated and effective evangelist that [Cennick] most deserves to be remembered and honoured. The authors of this book have made a convincing case.’ For me, it proved to be an informative account, easy to read, with illustrated information on not merely past events, but also fresh insights on places to visit - plus real challenges for the Christian today. It is one of those rarer books that can give pleasure to anyone – both novice and expert alike – because it is well researched and yet still succeeds in bringing to life a most interesting 18th century character and servant of the Lord. My advice is – don’t miss this opportunity to obtain a copy of this book - either for yourself, or as an attractive gift for someone you know.
Raised by Divine Love by Virginia Haywood (Trafford Publishing, Crewe Cheshire, 2007. Pp. 194, illus., pbk., £12.99. ISBN: 978-1425126650). Obtainable directly from the author at: 15 Michlow Drive, Bradwell, Hope Valley, Derbyshire, S33 9GA. Tel./Fax: 01433 620753. Email: email@example.com
This is an intriguing and honest autobiographical account by Wesley Fellowship member, Virginia Haywood. In it, her first book to be published, she shows herself to be well able to present her Christian testimony in a style which is both attractive and readable. Virginia has stated, ‘My book is meant to be an evangelical tool’ (and she has already used its publication as an opportunity to give her testimony to people at book launches at several venues in Derbyshire), and she would appreciate prayers ‘…most importantly for those who read it’ to be drawn nearer to the Lord. Virginia informed me that, since the book has been published, she has received encouraging responses - including one person who told her that she ‘…sat down at 3am one morning when not able to sleep because of feeling really ill with “flu” and found she couldn’t put [the] book down, and read it from cover to cover in one go! She then rang [Virginia] to ask loads of questions (not at 3am that morning!) and said she had more for me when I would next see her at a meeting!’
If you are at our April 2008 WF meeting, Virginia should have some copies available - and it might be worth noting that she is offering this interesting volume to WF members at nearly £10.00 less than would be the cost if you chose to purchase her book from Amazon.
© The Wesley Fellowship 2008