During the opening decade of the nineteenth century, Joseph Cooke preached and published two sermons contesting the prevailing Methodist articulation of justification by faith and the witness of the Spirit. Following his expulsion by the Conference, Cooke and his followers formed what came to be identified as the Methodist Unitarian Movement. In a published exchange with Edward Hare, later described as one of Methodism's most capable apologists, Cooke mounted a referendum on the authority and theological judgement of John Wesley. This article explores Cooke's challenge, its surrounding developments, and efforts of Conference to secure the theological coherence of Methodism's preachers and people.

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