Chapter

The Vision Fades

Stewart J. Brown

in Thomas Chalmers and the Godly Commonwealth in Scotland

Published in print January 1983 | ISBN: 9780192131140
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670039 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192131140.003.0007
The Vision Fades

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Chalmers's Free Church failed to reach the poorest working-class neighbourhoods. At the same time as he was pursuing his West Port model operation, Chalmers had worked vigorously to create public enthusiasm for his interdenominational community-building campaign. Unfortunately, Chalmers died in his sleep before his efforts came to fuition. This chapter describes Chalmers as a man of one seminal vision—the elevation of the nation through a communal social ideal, based upon a shared Christian purpose. With his communal vision, he provided a social direction to the early 19th-century Evangelical revival. Chalmers was an ecclesiastical politician. He was an idealist, and once firmly convinced of the righteousness of his cause—once he believed he was representing God's will for mankind—he found it difficult to retreat from his principles. He also made significant contributions to the development of method and theory in the administration of charity.

Keywords: Free Church; West Port model; community-building campaign; charity; Evangelical revival

Chapter.  13357 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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