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Title: Rev. Richard Watson, 1781-1833 : his work and religious thought
Author: Littleton, William H.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1956
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Fame is a fickle mistress who soon forgets the vast majority of those who for a few brief moments share her smile. This present study concerns one whose name was a household word among the Methodists of his own day, and for two generations following, but is now, with the passing of a century and a half, almost completely forgotten even among his own folk. It is an attempt to examine, understand, and state the salient factors in the life, work, and religious thought of Richard Watson. Watson was both an interpreter of the Christian message and a leader in applying that message to religious and social problems. Since the gospel of Christ is timeless as well as timely, Watson might have something to say to a later genreration. This study is not a biography of Watson, although it attempts to highlight those facts of his life which enable one to trace his mental and spiritual development and in a measure to recapture his personality. There have been three compilations of the simple facts of his life. The first, Memoirs of the Life and Writing of the Rev. Richard Watson, was written the year following his death by his friend and colleague in the ministry, Thomas Jackson. The value of this volume to any study of Watson is Inestimable notwithstanding the fact that the narrative is sometimes coloured by the close personal relationship which existed between the subject and the author. The remaining two volumes depend for the most part on Jackson's work but are significant for the judgements they contain, in anonymously compiled Life of Rev. Richard Watson was published in Sow York in 1341; it reveals the estimate cf Watson in American Methodism. 3, J. Drailsford' s Richard Watson, Theologian and missionary Advocate is a brief study made more than fifty years after Watson's death The part of this paper dealing with the work of Watson is an effort to state and evaluate the contributions he made in the five major areas of activity in which he participated. The five areas are not given in the order of the significance of his contributions but are presented in the natural manner in which they evolved throughout his life. His writings are given comparatively few pages in the second part of the study since they form the basis of the third part. To present even an outline of all of Watson's religious thought would have been far beyond the scope of this study, and, indeed, it would have served little purpose. In order to limit the field, those subjects have been chosen upon which Watson entered into controversy at one time or another, thereby defining more exactly his own views. The one exception to this is chanter two which is included by virtue cf its position as the first Methodist systematic statement of the doctrines of the existence and attributes of God, To the archivist of the Methodist Book Room, Rev. J. H, Martin, is due a word of thanks for his kind assistance in making available the books and manuscripts in his care. Ho less helpful was Miss Irene Longstaff, archivist cf the Methodist Missionary Society, who graciously'allowed the use of old records and manuscripts pertaining to the Missionary Society. The study is also indebted to the facilities of the British Museum for the examination, of back issues of magazines, newspapers, and otherwise unavailable books.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available