Hitherto, the language of the Methodist revival has received only moderate, and mainly descriptive, attention. This study moves beyond description and approaches the phenomenon from a 'discourse' angle. A corpus-based investigation of the workings of Methodism in its many different discourse aspects highlights how and why Methodism in its early Wesleyan stage was remarkably efficient in providing a multi-modal message which answered the needs and aspirations of the underprivileged. A critical assessment shows that there is little reason to indict the Wesleyans with any manipulative intent. Wesley's discourse did, however, contain some elements which were misunderstood and misapplied when later Methodism lost its Wesleyan touch; but the Methodist revival as a whole cannot be indicted with deliberate manipulation of the working masses.