sense that he was drawn into the movement for revival and reform, and entangled in the web of the Countess of Huntingdon and Frederick, Prince of Wales. It needed friends and contacts in New England to convince the English Dissenter and hymn-writer, Isaac Watts, that the revival promoted by Jonathan Edwards was actually in the spirit of the moderate seventeenth-century Puritan, Richard Baxter, and thus to allay Watts's suspicions of the whole movement.

By 1750, the revivals in America, in the Baltic and most of Europe were over, and the days were numbered for the Methodist coalition in England. Doddridge died in 1751; so did Frederick, Prince of Wales. Frederick's death and untimely breaking of the normal cycle of British politics ensured that Whitefield would never be made a bishop and that the revival would never be more than a movement in the country. In 1753, Wesley himself was seriously ill and wrote his own epitaph; he survived, but his confidence in creating a religious society within the established Church of England was at its lowest ebb. He was at his sourest towards many old friends. In Wales, meanwhile, Howel Harris had fallen out with Daniel Rowland. The Moravians faced bankruptcy. Whitefield could not repeat his early successes in New England and Scotland. Circumstances came to the rescue. The Seven Years' War broke out in 1756, apparently heralding the long-delayed day of reckoning between Catholic and Protestant, and evoking new revivals in both England and Wales. The national rally evoked by the elder Pitt's victories brought old irreconcilables back to court; more returned with the accession of George III, and still more (including Wesley himself) with the outbreak of colonial revolt in America and Ireland. All the time relations between the political authorities in Britain and Wesley's followers got easier, until, after his death, and in the shadow ofbitter differences about the French Revolution, the political authorities and Wesley's followers again mostly separated. Then the problem of authority within Methodism surfaced for another century. Methodism in America thrived famously on the opportunity it afforded to the English there to affirm their ethnic origin on an anti-Anglican basis - almost the inverse of the original intention. But Wesley did contribute an intensity and regularity of action which was something new. In England, he took over small connexions in the Midlands and the north that had been created by others, and these, together with the work which Wesley and his brother Charles initiated in the Newcastle region, got them off the original unadventurous London-Bristol axis and launched them into every part of the United Kingdom. Many of Whitefield's English converts emerged as Independent ministers and evangelists in their own right, transforming the size, ethos and administrative assumptions of the community they joined.

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