Sermons still catered mostly to organized groups of hearers gathered in a church, but throughout the period there were notorious instances of informal assembly, including the Pietist conventicle and the revivalist gathering. Pietist lay preachers such as the Norwegian Hans Nielsen Hauge (1771-1824) travelled considerable distances on foot to preach, in violation of the law, and he was frequently imprisoned for doing so. Female preachers too could be found outside the dominant institutions, among Quakers and nonconforming Pietists, and in private enclaves within churches, especially among evangelicals. Whilst the place of venue was usually a church - public or clandestine - it might just as well have been a field, a park, a public hall, or a marketplace. Wesley turned to the open air when he found the Anglican pulpit closed to him, and he persisted in doing so, three or four times a day, for half a century until he was eighty-eight years of age. Methodist preachers bypassed official channels

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