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 the Wedding Garment (Sermon 120)

John Wesley

"How camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment Matt. 22:12.

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On Visiting the Sick (Sermon 98)

John Wesley

"I was sick, and ye visited me." Matt. 25:36

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On Working Out our Own Salvation (Sermon 85)

John Wesley

"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; For it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." Phil. 2:12-13

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On Worldly Folly (Sermon 119)

John Wesley

"But God said unto him, Thou fool!" Luke 12:20.

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On Zeal (Sermon 92)

John Wesley

"It is good to be always zealously affected in a good thing." Gal. 4:18.

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Original Sin (Sermon 44)

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

"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Gen. 6:5.

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Plain Account of Christian Perfection - Paraphrase

John Wesley
David Phillips

John Wesley's classic on Christian perfection has been a source of help and hope for generations of Christians.   Hope for a real cleansing from sin through submission by faith to the full will of God.  

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Salvation by Faith (Sermon 1)

John Wesley
John Wesley

Preached at St. Mary's Oxford, before the university, on June 18, 1738

"By Grace are ye saved through faith." Ephesians 2.8

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Satan's Devices (Sermon 42)

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

"We are not ignorant of his devices." 2 Cor. 2:11
John Wesley Sermon 42

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Scriptural Christianity (Sermon 4)

John Wesley
John Wesley

Preached at St. Mary's, Oxford, before the university, August 24, 1744.

[This Sermon was originally published in a separate pamphlet, accompanied by the following address "to the reader," to which was affixed the author's signature: "It was not my design, when I wrote, ever to print the latter part of the following Sermon: But the false and scurrilous accounts of it which have been published, almost in every corner of the nation, constrain me to publish the whole, just as it was preached; that men of reason may judge for themselves.--EDITOR]

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Self-Denial (Sermon 48)

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

"And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." Luke 9:23

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Spiritual Idolatry (Sermon 78)

John Wesley

"Little children, keep yourselves from idols." 1 John 5:21.

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Spiritual Worship (Sermon 77)

John Wesley

"This is the true God, and eternal life." 1 John 5:20.

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The Almost Christian (Sermon 2)

John Wesley
John Wesley Image

Preached at St. Mary's, Oxford, before the university, on July 25, 1741.

"Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." Acts 26.28.

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The Case of Reason Impartially Considered (Sermon 70)

John Wesley

"Brethren, be not children in understanding: Howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men." 1 Cor. 14:20.

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The Cause And Cure Of Earthquakes (Sermon 129)

John Wesley

"O come hither, and behold the works of the Lord; what destruction he hath brought upon the earth!" Ps. 46:8.

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The Circumcision of the Heart (Sermon 17)

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

Preached at St. Mary's, Oxford, before the University, on January 1, 1733.

"Circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter." Romans 2:29.

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The Cure of Evil-Speaking (Sermon 49)

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

"If thy brother shall sin against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: If he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear, take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he will not hear them, tell it to the Church. But if he does not hear the church, let him be to thee as an heathen man and a publican." Matt. 18:15-17

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The Danger of Riches (Sermon 87)

John Wesley

"They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful desires, which drown men in destruction and perdition." 1 Tim. 6:9.

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The Difference Between Walking by Sight, and Walking by Faith (Sermon 113)

John Wesley
John Wesley image

"We walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Cor. 5:7.

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