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Theophilus Evans, an early critic of the movement, even wrote that it was "the natural Tendency of their Behaviour, in Voice and Gesture and horrid Expressions, to make People mad." In one of his prints, William Hogarth likewise attacked Methodists as "enthusiasts" full of "Credulity, Superstition and Fanaticism." Initially, the Methodists merely sought reform within the Church of England (Anglicanism), but the movement gradually departed from that Church.

George Whitefield's preference for extemporaneous prayer rather than the fixed forms of prayer in the BCP, in addition to his insistence on the necessity of the New Birth, set him at odds with Anglican clergy.

but the Methodist preachers took the message to labourers and criminals who tended to be left outside organised religion at that time.In Britain, the Methodist Church had a major effect in the early decades of the developing working class (1760–1820).In the United States, it became the religion of many slaves who later formed "black churches" in the Methodist tradition.The club met weekly and they systematically set about living a holy life.He records in his journal: "I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death." Charles had reported a similar experience a few days previously. Burnett writes: "The significance of [John] Wesley's Aldersgate Experience is monumental …

Without it the names of Wesley and Methodism would likely be nothing more than obscure footnotes in the pages of church history." The Wesley brothers immediately began to preach salvation by faith to individuals and groups, in houses, in religious societies, and in the few churches which had not closed their doors to evangelical preachers.John Wesley came under the influence of the Dutch theologian Jacobus Arminius (1560–1609).Arminius had rejected the Calvinist teaching that God had pre-ordained an elect number of people to eternal bliss while others perished eternally.Most Methodists teach that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for all of humanity and that salvation is available for all; in theology, this view is known as Arminianism.This teaching rejects the Calvinist position that God has pre-ordained the salvation of a select group of people.Methodism or the Methodist movement is a group of historically related denominations of Protestant Christianity which derive their inspiration from the life and teachings of John Wesley.