- The Journals of Dr Thomas Coke
John Vickers, a leading member of the Methodist Archives and History Committee, a Wesley History Society Executive and the archivist of the Southampton Methodist District in the United Kingdom, has had a lifelong interest in Thomas Coke, the English-speaking Welshman whose travels to the United States in the service of the incipient Methodist movement served to solidify the links between the Methodist movements [End Page 96] on both sides of the Atlantic. In this volume, Vickers gives us an updated and newly annotated journal that offers valuable insight into the early days of British and American Methodism with an added interest in mission work in the Caribbean and Asia. With a very useful introduction, adding valuable context to each section, this volume is accessible to all interested in early Methodist missions' history – novice and seasoned scholars alike.
Coke served with Asbury as the link between British and American Methodism. Coke with his cross-Atlantic travels has been rightfully called the Father of Methodist Missions. The Journals do not cover Coke's significant work within British Methodism but his closeness to Methodism's founder, John Wesley, which come across in his descriptions. Coke was an extremely hardworking clergyman, but also one who did not usually refrain from commenting on the spiritual state of his hearers. One gets an insight into the state of the American colonies before Christianity became a dominating religious influence.
As one reads the accounts of the difficulties of sea travel in those days, one is also given a glimpse into the motivations and desires of Coke. Now in this accessible edition, we can no longer neglect Coke's journals. It will rank as a source of historical insight and devotional encouragement alongside that of the Wesleys whom we know so well through their journals, sermons and hymns. It is of great benefit to know the struggles and victories of the early Methodists. This meticulous work by Vickers gives great pleasure and profit – two intended outcomes ascribed by Coke in his journals as well. [End Page 97]