One of the best known Irish evangelists in the years after John Wesley’s death was
Gideon Ouseley who preached, often from horseback, at the fairs and markets,
both in English and in his native tongue. He was one of a small band of such
men who were often called ‘Calvary’ preachers (an adaption of cavalry) or
Gideon was born in Galway, to John Ouseley of Dunmore and Anne Surridge of Fairy Hill in the same County. Ouseley’s own brother told him off ‘for running up and down the country on one wild-goose chase after another, instead of staying at home like a sensible man’.
The more sophisticated Methodist congregations disliked him because they didn’t want to be constantly reminded of Hell. When he visited Dublin in 1820 he commented to Matthew Tobias in a letter that they ‘dreaded the very sight of him’. When he went to preach…
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