WITH A METHODIST CLASS TICKET INSERTED
[Thomas à Kempis].
An Extract from the Christian-Pattern, or, a Treatise on the Imitation of Christ.
Edited by John Wesley.
London: Printed by John Paramore, 1783.
In this copy of Wesley’s An Extract from the Christian-Pattern of 1783, owned by one Isaac Parsons, a nineteenth-century owner has attached a “class ticket” of 1802 inscribed “S. Parsons.” The quarterly issuing of a class ticket to all Methodists in good standing was one of the earliest Methodist traditions. These tickets guaranteed membership in weekly classes for prayer, Bible study, and Christian fellowship. In A Plain Account of the People Called Methodists, published in 1748, John Wesley recalled the beginnings of this custom: “As the Society increased I found it required still greater care to separate the precious from the vile. In order to do this, I determined, at least once in three months, to talk with every member myself.... To each of those whose seriousness and good conversation I found no reason to doubt, I gave a testimony under my own hand, by writing their name on a ticket prepared for that purpose.... Those who bore these tickets... were acknowledged by their brethren and received with all cheerfulness.”