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 Patience (Sermon 83)

John Wesley

"Let patience have its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." James 1:4.

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On Perfection (Sermon 76)

John Wesley

"Let us go on to perfection." Heb. 6:1.

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On Pleasing All Men (Sermon 100)

John Wesley

"Let every man please his neighbour for his good to edification." Rom. 15:2.

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On Predestination (Sermon 58)

John Wesley
18th century portrait of cleric John Wesley

"Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son: -- Whom he did predestinate, them he also called. And whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." Romans 8:29, 30.

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On Public Diversions (Sermon 140)

John Wesley

"Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid shall there be evil in the city, and the Lord hath not done it" Amos 3:6.

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On Redeeming the Time (Sermon 93)

John Wesley

"Redeeming the time." Eph. 5:16

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On Riches (Sermon 108)

John Wesley

"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." Matthew 19:24.

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On Schism (Sermon 75)

John Wesley

"That there might be no schism in the body." 1 Cor. 12:25.

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On Sin in Believers (Sermon 13)

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

"If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature." 2 Cor. 5:17.

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On Temptation (Sermon 82)

John Wesley

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: And God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." 1 Cor. 10:13.

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On the Danger of Increasing Riches (Sermon 126)

John Wesley

"If riches increase, set not thine heart upon them." Ps. 62:10

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On the Death of Rev. Mr. John Fletcher (Sermon 133)

John Wesley

PREACHED ON THE OCCASION OF THE DEATH OF THE REV. MR. JOHN FLETCHER VICAR OF MADELEY, SHROPSHIRE

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On the Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield (Sermon 53)

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

Preached at the Chapel in Tottenham-Court Road on Sunday, November 18, 1770 and at the Tabernacle, near Moorfields, on Friday, November 23, 1770.

"Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!" Num. 23:10.

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On the Decietfulness of the Human Heart (Sermon 123)

John Wesley

"The heart of man is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: Who can know it" Jer. 17:9.

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On the Education of Children (Sermon 95)

John Wesley

"Train up a child in the way wherein he should go: And when he is old, he will not depart from it." Prov. 22:6

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On the Fall of Man (Sermon 57)

John Wesley

"Dust thou are, and unto dust shalt thou return." Gen. 3:19

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On the Holy Spirit (Sermon 141)

John Wesley

PREACHED AT ST. MARY'S OXFORD, ON WHITSUNDAY, 1736

"Now the Lord is that Spirit." 2 Cor. 3:17

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On the Omnipresence of God (Sermon 111)

John Wesley

"Do not I fill heaven and earth saith the Lord." Jer. 23:24

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On the Resurrection of the Dead (Sermon 137)

John Wesley

BENJAMIN CALAMY ABRIDGED AND REVISED BY JOHN WESLEY
[This Sermon was originally written by Benjamin Calamy, D.D., Vicar of St. Lawrence, Jewry, London. It occurs, p. 275, in a volume of Sermons which bears his name, published in 1704; and is here abridged and revised by Mr. Wesley. -- EDIT.]

WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1732

"But some man will say, how are the dead raised up and with what body do they come" 1 Cor. 15:35.

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On the Trinity (Sermon 55)

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

ADVERTISEMENT Some days since I was desired to preach on this text. I did so yesterday morning. In the afternoon I was pressed to write down and print my sermon, if possible, before I left Cork. I have wrote it this morning; but I must beg the reader to make allowance for the disadvantages I am under; as I have not here any books to consult, nor indeed any time to consult them. Cork, May 8, 1775. "There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: And these three are one." 1 John 5:7

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