The History of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society, Vol. 2 of 5
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|Format: ||Paperback, 542 pages|
|Published In: ||United States, 01 September 2015|
Excerpt from The History of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society, Vol. 2 of 5
The second volume of this History is wholly devoted to missionary service in the West India Islands. It contains the record of a work as full of courage and devotion, as instinct with true romance, as any that we shall find in the several fields in which 'the people called Methodists" have given their contribution to the message of the Christian Church. If in these latter days this field has seemed to lack the attractiveness of its earlier days, and the joy of abundant harvest which once it knew, there is all the more need that the fascinating story of its past should be fully set forth. It is well known that the gifted scholar whose work is here given to the world so felt the charm of this field that he said that if he were beginning his ministry, and were called to choose a field of service, he would offer to serve in the West Indies. That charm remains; and though dark and cloudy skies have gathered over this Mission Field, we cannot doubt that the seed sown with such unstinting hands and with hearts so lavish of their love will yet appear in a Church worthy of its history to the praise and glory of God.
The purpose of this Introduction, however, is not to add to what Dr. Findlay has so fully set forth, but rather to call the attention of the reader to the truly apostolic missionary who was the centre and spring of the wonderful service. John and Charles Wesley have so held the admiration and the reverence of their followers that there is no small danger of these forgetting the great gift given by God to the Church in Thomas Coke. Methodism is 'a fruitful vine; its branches hang over the wall.' East and West, and in the distant South the Methodist fellowship is found to-day in large and vital Communions which still acknowledge the passion of missionary zeal. It should never be forgotten that it was in 1784, nearly thirty years before the Wesleyan Missionary Society was formed, that John Wesley informed Thomas Coke of his desire to send him as ordained Presbyter to ordain Asbury for the service of the Methodist Church in America.
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