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By W G Shelton

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13 The other pamphlet, which came out in 1753 or the previous year, was entitled An Earnest and Affectionate Address to the Common People of England Concerning Their Usual Recreations on Shrove Tuesday. This 'recreation' was known as cock-throwing, and consisted of tying a cock to a stake and throwing sticks at it until it was killed. Tucker's sentiments were outlined in the first paragraph. Permit me to address myself to you at this season, and to expostulate with you in a loving, friendly manner, concerning the abominable practice of throwing at cocks, and to beseech you to set a good example this year, by leaving off so bad a 46 Dean Tucker and Eighteenth-Century Thought custom.

As H. B. Workman puts it, Like St. Francis, john Wesley, the St. Francis of the eighteenth century, did not set out to discover buried truth, but to live out a forgotten life, and to group together into societies those of like mind with himself. Unlike Wyclif, his object was not to overthrow existing dogmas, but to galvanize them in to life. 17 This is echoed by other Methodist writers, such as Dr Henry Bett, who writes, The vital things in religion are not, first of all, intellectual issues and a great evangelical revival like Methodism was naturally concerned, in the first place, with the redemptive facts and the redemptive experiences ...

Quoting liberally from Wesley's journal, he placed in juxtaposition statements which appeared to contradict each other, thereby endeavouring to demonstrate that Wesley's 'system' was rather a 'medley' of principles. In order to be fair, however, he summarised Wesley's attempt at 'reconciling these jarring elements, and reducing them into some kind of order and uniformity', although he thought that Wesley had failed in this task. There are three stages in man's spiritual development, according to Wesley.

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