Commenting on the revival, J. Wesley Bready stated, that “ the Wesleyan revival contributed more to the social and political freedoms of Britons than the French Revolution did-and that it was the experiential religion promulgated by Wesley, essentially, that brought about so drastic a change in human rights and human life generally in England. The societies that had been set up consisted of an intimate group of people who encouraged each other to make a confession of their sins and share their problems with each other. The main aim of the group was to lend their support to each other while building each other.
The key feature of the early Methodists was the prevalence of ‘ Love Feasts’ in which everyone took part and shared their testimony with the others. The ‘ Love Feast’ was a common Eucharistic ritual accompanied by a banquet which focused on the sharing of Bread and Wine which was a universal Christian practice which had elements of the Jewish ritual of the Passover Seder. These banquets were also referred to as ‘ Agape’ which meant and referred to God’ s selfless love for humanity.
During these feasts, the participants indulged in a lot of food and drink. During the Middle Ages, the Agape feasts were replaced by Eucharistic Liturgies that was made up of the symbolic bread and wine. Though not universal these meals existed in the Christian world. The Lord’ s Supper is one of the earliest accounts of its prevalence and could be seen in 1 Corinthians 11: 20 – 22. The service consisted of a full meal that was brought by the participants themselves but eaten in a common room where everyone shared their religious thoughts and ideas as they ate their meal.
The primary basis of the Methodists lay or focused on the Bible and its teachings which were in turn utilized in living good Christian lives by following the scriptures. The ancient Methodists showed a lack of interest in the Church and its leaders feared that other doctrines would find its way in.
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