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French Prophets

Othrwise known as 'Camisards', they were a Huguenot sect who came into the Wesleys' orbit in 1739. While claiming to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit, they prophesied the imminent visible rule of Christ on earth, spoke in tongues and claimed the gifts of healing and perfection. Some of the more 'enthusiastic' Methodists were attracted to them, partly because of their eschatological, supernatural and perfectionist emphases, but mainly because they too believed God to be directly in control and to make himself known through supernatural intervention. John and Charles were not convinced of their authenticity, but suspended judgment until Charles' investigation of one of them concluded that she was a fraud.

Sources

  • 'French Prophets and Enthusiasm', in WHS Proceedings, 14 pp.60-62
  • Ronald A. Knox, Enthusiasm (1950) ch. 15
  • H. Swartz, The French Prophets (1980)
  • Kenneth G.C. Newport, 'Early Methodism and the French Prophets', in WHS Proceedings, 50 pp.127-40

Entry written by: MB
Category: Subject

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