This volume is an anthology of early Methodist women’s writings from about 1730-1815.
Women helped to make the Wesleyan Revival of the 18th century one of the most dynamic Christian movements in the history of the church. The vitality and continuing significance of Methodism is due—in large measure—to their presence and influence. Even more important, and contrary to typical stereotypes, most of these women refused to remain submissively in the home. They carried their faith into the marketplace, often at great risk to themselves, as daring disciples who had been liberated by God’s grace in Christ. This story has not been told. This anthology brings us in touch with a lost heritage that has transformational value in the life of the church today.
This collection is the first of its kind. While it is not exhaustive, being composed only of letters, accounts of religious experience, diaries, journals and other miscellaneous prose works, the early Methodist women’s writings assembled here provide a new vantage point from which to view the renewal of Christianity in the Wesleyan revival. They reflect an age of spiritual discovery with bursts of insight and stories that inspire and challenge. Chilcote gives a substantial introduction to the volume as a whole, then also introduces each category of writing and each individual author. Beyond providing a contextual backdrop, he lets each woman speak for herself.