Though the story in this book started in 1815 and has long since been forgotten, it is a story that needs to be told again. It’s the story of the Bible Christian Methodists founded in Devon and Cornwall.
The spiritual and moral state of these counties in the early part of the nineteenth century was very sad indeed. The Church of England, generally speaking, was without a living ministry. It was dead and lifeless. The social conditions were no better. The working men were little more than slaves. The lack of education and the meagre pittance received for their labours contributed to the sense of hopelessness in which they spent their lives. It was into this situation that a man of God came; his name was William O’Bryan. Converted when eighteen years of age he immediately began to do the work of an evangelist for which he was eminently equipped. Eighteen years later he became the channel of revival and the chief instrument that lead to the formation of the Bible Christian Methodists. Under his ministry a group of men and preachers were raised up: men like Billy Bray and others whose hearts the Lord had touched.
The reprint of F.W. Bourne’s book The Bible Christians; Their Origin and History, will help many to come to an understanding of true revival and of the reality of what God can do in and through lives that are placed utterly at His disposal. It also reminds us that God’s greatest gift to any generation is not a major breakthrough in science and technology, but a man sent from God; a man with a voice of eternity, calling men from the paths of sin to walk with God. — From the new foreword by Rev. Norman Green