He early discovered his vocation as a preacher of indulgences; he combined the elocutionary gifts of a revivalist orator with the shrewdness of an auctioneer.
It would be an anachronism to think of Francis as a philanthropist or a "social worker" or a revivalist preacher, though he fulfilled the best functions of all these.
It is indeed true that to thousands the hope of acquiring spiritual merit must have been a great motive; it is also true, as the records of crusading sermons show, that there was a strong element of "revivalism" in the Crusades, and that thousands were hurried into taking the cross by a gust of that uncontrollable enthusiasm which is excited by revivalist meetings to-day.
But for Innocent these outbursts of the revivalist element, which always accompanied the Crusades, had their moral: "the very children put us to shame," he wrote; "while we sleep 1 Already under Innocent III.
Lorenzo Dow (1777-1834), an eccentric American Methodist revivalist, visited North Staffordshire and spoke of the campmeetings held in America, with the result that on the 31st of May 1807 the first real English gathering of the kind was held on Mow Cop, since regarded as the Mecca of Primitive Methodism.
Clowes, who, in spite of his revivalist sympathies, was more attached to Methodism than Bourne, was cut off from his church for taking part in camp-meetings at Ramsor in 1808 and 1810.
It was not until 1734 that a new outburst of zeal was aroused by the " revivalist " work of Jonathan Edwards, followed in 1740-1742 by George Whitefield.
He soon came under the influence of Wilhelm Hoffman, a pietistic revivalist, and devoted himself to writing and public speaking, withdrawing in 1728 from all secular pursuits and giving himself entirely to religious work.
Prince shortly afterwards became curate of Stoke in Suffolk, where, however, the character of his revivalist zeal caused his departure at the end of twelve months.
He soon leapt into fame as an emotional revivalist preacher: his very ass became an object of popular adoration; and thousands of peasants eagerly took the cross at his bidding.