Pawson, John

Pawson, John a prominent minister in early Methodism, was born at Thorner, near Leeds. November 12, 1787. He was early convicted under Methodist preaching, and after a long struggle was joyfullly brought into the light. He preached his first sermon in 1761, in 1762 Wesley sent him to York, and from that time to February 3, 1806, when he preached his last sermon at Wakefield, he exercised his ministry with marked diligence, ability, and success. He was frequently appointed to the large cities, and in 1785 Wesley ordained him, with Hanby and Taylor, for Scotland, in which country, owing to the Scottish character, creed, and mode of worship, Pawson was convinced Methodism would never make much headway. Triumphantly his busy life was closed at Wakefield, March 19, 1806. Twice Pawson was elected president of the conference (1793 and 1801). "During the trials which followed Wesley's death, he was one of the pillars of the shaken structure of Methodism." He wrote in favor of giving the sacraments to the societies in 1792, commended Kilham's pamphlet on the same subject, proposed the solution of the difficulties at the conference in London in the same year, published a revised and enlarged copy of the Large Minutes (1797), and An Affectionate Address to the Junior Preachers (1798). He believed Methodist government was not sufficiently articulated, favored the appointment of bishops, and the division of England into four Methodist dioceses, and introduced services in the Established Church hours. He was a man of sound judgment, piety, and zeal, and Adam Clarke published a worthy eulogy of him in the Methodist Magazine (Lond. 1807). See Jackson, Early Meth. Preachers, 4:1 sq.; Stevens, Hist. of Methodism, 3:202 (see Index); Smith, Hist, of Methodism 2 (see Index); Crowther, Portraiture of Methodism, 2d ed. page 382 sq.

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