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J.C.Ryle (the first Anglican Bishop of Liverpool) in his book “Christian leaders of the 18th Century” had this to say about the opposition Wesley received:

“It is needless to tell a Christian reader that Wesley continued to fight with opposition. The prince of this world will never allow his captives to be rescued from him without a struggle. Sometimes he (Wesley) was in danger of losing his life by assaults of violent, ignorant and semi-heathen mobs, as at Wednesbury, Walsall, Colne, Shoreham and Devizes. Sometimes he was denounced by bishops as an enthusiast, a fanatic and a sower of dissent. Often – far too often – he was preached against and held up to scorn by the parochial clergy, as a heretic, a mischief-maker and a meddling troubler of Israel. Calmly, resolutely and undauntedly he held his course and in scores of cases lived down the opposition.” (p.79-80)

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