As its title implies, Hearts and Hands looks at the evolution of the Church from 1700-1860 AD from both a spiritual and practical perspective. From the hymns of Charles Wesley to the abolitionist activities of William Wilberforce, the era of the Great Awakenings and the attendant emphasis on social reform in the name of piety is vividly portrayed using stories, biographies and pertinent historical information. England and America are the focus, though figures as disparate as Liang Fa (China's first native Protestant minister) and David Livingstone (a Scottish missionary to Africa) are given equal coverage.
The simultaneous rise of worldwide missions and Protestant denominations are handled with grace and clarity. Disputes and rifts are examined without judgment, and divergent doctrinal interpretations are handled from a biblical rather than a denominational stance. Some of the individuals relegated to the concluding chapter presenting one-paragraph treatments of "other important figures" from the period are surprising—most notable George Whitefield, whom one assumes would have his own chapter—but these exclusions make room for longer biographies of less well-known but still important people like Elizabeth Fry (an English prison reformer) and Fidelia Fiske (an American missionary to Persia).
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