From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary [1]

A name applied to different sects, both Papists and Protestants.

1. The popish Methodists were those polemical doctors who arose in France about the middle of the seventeenth century, in opposition to the Huguenots, or Protestants. These Methodists, from their different manner of treating the controversy with their opponents, may be divided into two classes. The one comprehends those doctors whose method of disputing with the Protestants was disingenuous and unreasonable; and who followed the example of those military chiefs, who shut up their troops in intrenchments and strong holds, in order to cover them from the attacks of the enemy. Of this number were the Jesuit Veron, who required the Protestants to prove the tenets of their church by plain passages of Scripture, without being allowed the liberty of illustrating those passages, reasoning upon them, or drawing any conclusions from them; Nihusius, an apostate from the Protestant religion; the two Wallenburgs, and others, who confined themselves to the business of answering objections; and cardinal Richlieu, who confined the whole controversy to the single article of the divine institution and authority of the church.

2. The Methodists of the second class were of opinion, that the most expedient manner of reducing the Protestants to silence, was not to attack them by piecemeal, but to overwhelm them at once by the weight of some general principle, or presumption, or some universal argument, which comprehended or might be applied to all the points contested between the two churches; thus imitating the conduct of those military leaders, who, instead of spending their time and strength in sieges and skirmishes, endeavoured to put an end to the war by a general and decisive action. Some of these polemics rested the defense of popery upon prescription; others upon the wicked lives of Protestant princes who had left the church of Rome; others, the crime of religious schism; the variety of opinions among Protestants with regard to doctrine and discipline, and the uniformity of the tenets and worship of the church of Rome; and thus, by urging their respective arguments, they thought they should stop the mouths of their adversaries at once.

Webster's Dictionary [2]

(1): ( n.) One of a sect of Christians, the outgrowth of a small association called the "Holy Club," formed at Oxford University, A.D. 1729, of which the most conspicuous members were John Wesley and his brother Charles; - originally so called from the methodical strictness of members of the club in all religious duties.

(2): ( n.) One who observes method.

(3): ( a.) Of or pertaining to the sect of Methodists; as, Methodist hymns; a Methodist elder.

(4): ( n.) A person of strict piety; one who lives in the exact observance of religious duties; - sometimes so called in contempt or ridicule.

(5): ( n.) One of an ancient school of physicians who rejected observation and founded their practice on reasoning and theory.