John Wesley

John Wesley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Wesley (/ˈwɛsli, ˈwɛzli/;[1] 28 June [O.S. 17 June] 1703 – 2 March 1791) was an Anglican divine and theologian who, with his brother Charles Wesley and fellow cleric George Whitefield, is credited with the foundation of the evangelical movement known as Methodism. His work and writings also played a leading role in the development of the Holiness movement and Pentecostalism.

Educated at Charterhouse School and Oxford University, Wesley was elected a fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford in 1726 and ordained a priest two years later. Returning to Oxford in 1729 after serving as curate at his father's parish, he led the Holy Club, a club for the purpose of study and the pursuit of a devout Christian life; it had been founded by his brother Charles, and counted John Whitefield among its members. After an unsuccessful ministry of two years at Savannah in the Georgia Colony, Wesley returned to London and joined a religious society led by Moravian Christians. On 24 May 1738 he experienced what has come to be called his evangelical conversion, when he felt his "heart strangely warmed". He subsequently departed with the Moravians, beginning his own ministry.

A key step in the development of Wesley's ministry was, like Whitefield, to travel and preach outdoors. In contrast to Whitefield's Calvinism, however, Wesley embraced the Arminian doctrines that dominated the Church of England at the time. Moving across Great Britain, North America and Ireland, he helped to form and organise small Christian groups that developed intensive and personal accountability, discipleship and religious instruction. Most importantly, he appointed itinerant, unordained evangelists to travel and preach as he did and to care for these groups of people. Under Wesley's direction, Methodists became leaders in many social issues of the day, including prison reform and abolitionism.

Although he was not a systematic theologian, Wesley argued for the notion of Christian perfection and against Calvinism – and, in particular, against its doctrine of predestination. He held that, in this life, Christians could achieve a state where the love of God "reigned supreme in their hearts", giving them outward holiness. His evangelicalism, firmly grounded in sacramental theology, maintained that means of grace were the manner by which God sanctifies and transforms the believer, encouraging people to experience Jesus Christ personally.

Throughout his life, Wesley remained within the established Anglican church, insisting that the Methodist movement lay well within its tradition. Although sometimes maverick in his interpretation and use of church policy, he became widely respected and, by the end of his life, had been described as "the best loved man in England".

Works by this author

Language: English

On Charity (Sermon 91)

John Wesley

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." 1 Cor. 13:1-3.

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On Conscience (Sermon 105)

John Wesley

"For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience." 2 Cor. 1:12.

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On Discoveries of Faith (Sermon 110)

John Wesley

"Now faith is the evidence of things not seen." Heb. 11:1.

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On Dissipation (Sermon 79)

John Wesley

"This I speak -- that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction." 1 Cor. 7:35.

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On Divine Providence (Sermon 67)

John Wesley

"Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered." Luke 12:7.

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On Dress (Sermon 88)

John Wesley

"Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of -- wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; "But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." 1 Pet. 3:3, 4.

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On Eternity (Sermon 54)

John Wesley
John Wesley in clerical garb with his hands resting on books.

"From everlasting to everlasting thou art God." Psalm 90:2

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On Faith (Sermon 106)

John Wesley

"Without faith it is impossible to please him." Heb. 11:6.

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On Family Religion (Sermon 94)

John Wesley

"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Josh. 24:15.

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On Friendship With the World (Sermon 80)

John Wesley

"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of this world is enmity with God Whosoever therefore desireth to be a friend of the world is an enemy of God." Jam. 4:4.

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On God's Vineyard (Sermon 107)

John Wesley

"What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes" Isa. 5:4.

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On Grieving the Holy Spirit (Sermon 138)

John Wesley

WILLIAM TILLY ABRIDGED AND REVISED BY JOHN WESLEY

WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1733

"Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." Eph. 4:30.

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On Knowing Christ After the Flesh (Sermon 117)

John Wesley

"Henceforth know we no man after the flesh; yea, though we did know Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more." 2 Cor. 5:16

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On Laying the Foundation of the New Chapel, Near the City-Road, London (Sermon 132)

John Wesley

PREACHED ON MONDAY, APRIL 21, 1777

"According to this time it shall be said, -- What hath God wrought!" Num. 23:23.

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On Living Without God (Sermon 125)

John Wesley

"Without God in the world." Eph. 2:12.

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On Love (Sermon 139)

John Wesley

PREACHED AT SAVANNAH, FEBRUARY 20, 1736

"Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing." 1 Cor. 13:3.

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On Love (Sermon 139)

John Wesley

PREACHED AT SAVANNAH, FEBRUARY 20, 1736

"Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing." 1 Cor. 13:3

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On Mourning for the Dead (Sermon 135)

John Wesley

PREACHED AT EPWORTH, JANUARY 11, 1726, AT THE FUNERAL OF JOHN GRIFFITH: A HOPEFUL YOUNG MAN.

"Now he is dead, wherefore should I fast Can I bring him back again I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." 2 Sam. 12:23.

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On Obedience to Parents (Sermon 96)

John Wesley

"Children, obey your parents in all things." Col. 3:20

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On Obedience to Pastors (Sermon 97)

John Wesley

"Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: For they watch over your souls, as they that shall give account, that they may do this with joy, and not with grief: For that is unprofitable for you." Heb. 13:17.

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