The development of Anglican evangelicalism in London 1736-1836 with special reference to the Revd. John Newton

Pytches, Peter Norman Lambert (2007). The development of Anglican evangelicalism in London 1736-1836 with special reference to the Revd. John Newton. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000faf0

Abstract

The thesis begins with a statement of the terms of reference and definition of terms. Consideration is given to the social, cultural, philosophical and religious attitudes and influences of the late 17th and early 18th centuries, particularly in relation to London and the Established Church. Attention is paid to the antecedents and precursors of London Evangelicalism.

The influence, in London, of George Whitefield and John Wesley is evaluated, together with that of the Countess of Huntingdon and William Romaine. Early difficulties for Evangelicals in obtaining useful spheres of influence and the importance of lectureships, proprietary chapels, and patronage are highlighted. Specific reference to a few London Evangelicals is made and the influence of evangelical literature mentioned. The continuing Predestinarian controversy is observed.

The appointment of John Newton to his incumbency at Woolnoth in 1779, it is argued, marked a decisive stage in the development of London Evangelicalism. Also prominent in this development were Thomas Scott, Josiah Pratt, Basil Wood, Henry Foster and William Goode and Hannah More (through her writings and London contacts). Special attention is paid to Newton and the Eclectic Society, and the more moderate Calvinism which developed. William Wilberforce and the Clapham Sect, his Practical View, theological orientation, and humanitarian concern, are explored. Also Daniel Wilson (Sr) and the Islington Conference are evaluated. The London influence of Charles Simeon is noted. Special attention is paid to the founding of the Religious Tract Society, Church Missionary Society, British and Foreign Bible Society and Church Pastoral Aid Society, the contributions of laity, the May Meetings and the Exeter Hall.

The changing outlooks of Evangelical publications is noted and the Millennarian controversy reviewed. Conflicting opinions of the strength and impact of London Evangelicalism are assessed and the calibre of the clergy evaluated.

The thesis closes with a summary and the conclusions reached.

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