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Extra resources for Apex Omnium: Religion in the Res Gestae of Ammianus (Transformation of the Classical Heritage, 15)

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The heaviest concentration of Presbyterians was in New Castle and Cecil counties, where the recent Scotch-Irish immigration had been so large. 28 From all indications, membership in most congregations south of New Castle County was not very large. One of the problems that the Presbyterians couldn't overcome was the shortage of qualified clergy. The New and Old Sides didn't see eye to eye on a number of issues, including the spiritual prerequisite to becoming a clergyman. The New Side insisted on a conversion experience that could be assigned a specific time and place, while the Old Side didn't agree that a rebirth experience was that essential.

As Methodist societies increased geometrically, they were joined together on individual circuits. Short of Anglican priests who were sympathetic to his reform movement, Wesley was forced to assign commited laymen to preach on the circuits. Although portrayed by the Anglican clergy as theologically ignorant, Wesley's preachers spoke the patois of the "middling and lower sorts" and were very effective in making converts. By 1813 there were an estimated two Page 22 hundred thousand Methodists in England 1, and their significance was undeniable.

The Pennsylvania Gazette reported two thousand less than Whitefield's estimate at White Clay Creek, but at Page 6 New Castle and Christiana, the Gazette's estimates actually surpassed his own. A surprising source gives further credence to Whitefield's counts. When he spoke from a balcony in Lewes in 1740, he estimated the crowds at about two thousand. " 12 Whitefield was a genius at stirring religious feelings, but too often this excitement cooled after his departure. To keep alive religious enthusiasm on a long-term basis, Whitefield encouraged his followers to form religious societies whenever possible.

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