Hopper, Christopher

Hopper, Christopher one of the most efficient early Methodist preachers, was born at Low- Coalburne, Ryton Parish, Durham County, England, December 25, 1722. In his Autobiography (in Jackson's Lives) he gives an interesting account of his conversion under Methodist preaching, about 1743, and of his subsequent labors after 1749. For fifty years he preached throughout the land, in churches, ale-houses, cock-pits, now before a conference, then before a mob, now amid the prayers and tears of the people, then amid rotten eggs, the sound of horns and bells, brickbats, blows, and bludgeons. Four times he visited Ireland (1750, 1752, 1756, 1776, the first time with Wesley). In 1751 he and Wesley visited Scotland, the latter returning in a few days, but Hopper pressing on, and in 1759 introducing Methodism as far as Old Aberdeen and Peterhead, thus planting Methodism in North Britain. Wesley being absent from the conference at Bristol in 1780, Hopper was elected president. After 1790 he resided chiefly at Bolton, preaching till January 1802. He died March 5 following. Hopper played an important part in British Methodism, and not merely in extending its borders. He was one of the men who gave to it Bramweell and Benson, and his melting prayers contributed to its peace and union during the critical conferences of the last decade of the 18th century (see Entwistle's Memoirs). He was of an original turn of mind, had fine natural abilities, was a diligent student, a pioneer preacher, and a soul-saver. See Jackson, Early Methodist Preachers, 1:179; Crowther, Portraiture of Methodism, page 350; Stevens, Hist. of Methodism, 1, 3 (see index); Smith, Hist. of Wesl. Methodism, 1, 3 (see index); Wesl. Meth. Magazine, September 1803; Everett, Keen and Able Little Sketch; Wesleyan Centenary Takings (3d ed. Lond. 1841), 1:332.

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