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.