Methodist Preachers in John Wesley’s Days

Peter Cartwright (1785-1872), who had himself been a circuit-riding preacher in America in the wake of John Wesley’s ministry, wrote in his autobiography (The Autobiography of Peter Cartwright, 1856) about what happened when a man felt called of God to preach.

“[I]nstead of hunting up a college or Biblical Institute, [he] hunted up a hardy pony, and some traveling apparatus, and with his library always at hand, namely, a Bible, Hymn book, and Discipline, he started, and with a text that never wore out nor grew stale, he cried, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world’.”

(The Scripture quoted is John 1:29; my source for this Cartwright quote can be found here.)

Cartwright’s words remind me of something Brother Lawrence (for explanation on him, see here) wrote in The Practice of the Presence of God:

“Were I a preacher, I would, above all other things, preach the practice of the presence of God. “

I’m quite struck by the similarity of the two ideas (that is, Peter Cartwright’s and Brother Lawrence’s): both remind us that living according to the reality of God’s omnipresence is the simplest, and yet the most seldom achieved, task in the pursuit of life with God.

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