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Title: The controversy between John Wesley and the Countess of Huntingdon, Edinburgh University
Author: Hull, James E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2704 9656
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1959
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The uncompromising individualism which characterized all of Eighteenth Century England also penetrated the religious scene and was incorporated in the life and work of both John Wesley and the Countess of Huntingdon. The treatment of the major controversy between these two rugged individualists naturally must begin, in Chapter One, with a brief survey of their period, its specific characteristics and needs, and the climate which it provided for the development of the children of the Evangelical Revival. Chapters Two and Three are a brief study of the two major figures in this controversy, but are not primarily biographical. However, since Lady Huntingdon has been so unfortunate in her biographers, it was necessary to ascertain exact dates and to amplify relevant facts about her life in Chapter Three. It was also necessary to re-evaluate her hitherto largely overlooked contribution to the Eighteenth Century and to the Evangelical Revival, this being unnecessary in the case of John Wesley who has always held the prominent place. In Chapter Four a specific analysis is made of Wesley's and Lady Huntingdon's basic character traits and theological presuppositions which brought them into open conflict. The myth that Lady Huntingdon held a hyper-Calvinistic viewpoint from the moment of her religious "awakening" is examined and rejected, and the personal determinant in this theological controversy is examined in detail. Chapters Five, Six and Seven deal directly with the controversy itself, tracing its development from the time of their first meeting to their deaths in 1791. The final chapter assesses the disastrous consequences of this controversy for all parties concerned, and for the Church universal. In an attempt to be uniform throughout the thesis, i have used American spelling and punctuation. I have also used the term "Wesley" to denote John, and have always so indicated when referring to his brother, Charles Wesley. This study of the controversy between Wesley and Lady Huntingdon would not have been accomplished without much encouragement and help from many sources. It is with real appreciation that I tender my thanks to the Very Reverend Principal Emeritus Watt, who first saw the possibilities in the topic as a specific area of research, and to Professor James S. UcEwan, now of Aberdeen University* for his initial interest and encouragement. With deep appreciation I acknowledge the invaluable assistance and guidance of my friend * Principal Charles S. Duthie, of the Scottish Congregational College, who aided me in countless ways as my Senior Advisor, and who has read this manuscript with scholarly eye and offered most constructive criticism. I am indebted to President A. Victor Murray of Cheshunt College, Cambridge, who made available to me the unpublished Cheshunt MS3 Letters, allowing me to peruse them in the Cheshunt Library, and who was exceptionally kind to me and my family during our stay at Cambridge. To the Reverend Dr. Frank Baker, Secretary of the Wesley Historical Society, I owe a special debt of gratitude, for the sharing of his vast fund of knowledge thereby helping me to maintain accurate historical dates# and for his kindness in allowing me to use both his personal MSS Letters and those entrusted to his keeping by the Wesley Historical Society. To Miss K. Monica Davies, U. A., Assistant Curator of Manuscripts at the National Library of Wales for her transcriptions of Howell Harris' Diaries and for other considerations beyond those normally expected, I an grateful. I an deeply appreciative also for the consistently courteous and helpful assistance of the staff of the University of Edinburgh's New College Library, especially to Miss Erna M. Leslie, B. Litt., and to the Staffs in London of Dr. Williams' Library, the Moravian Archives, the Lambeth Palace Library, the Methodist Archives, the British Museum, and in Edinburgh to the Staff of the National Library of Scotland. To Mrs. Evelyn V. Chalmers who typed the final copy and who was unfailingly efficient, and to Mr. George Smith, M. A., who offered many suggestions, I offer my profound appreciation. And lastly there remains that blessing and help from my wife, which while it can be appreciated, can never be adequately expressed. These are debts which cannot be repaid but only continually appropriated in my ministry.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available