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

The Duty Of Constant Communion (Sermon 101)

John Wesley

The following discourse was written above five-and-fifty years ago, for the use of my pupils at Oxford. I have added very little, but retrenched much; as I then used more words than I do now. But, I thank God, I have not yet seen cause to alter my sentiments in any point which is therein delivered. 1788 J.W. "Do this in remembrance of me." Luke 22:19.

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The Duty of Reproving our Neighbour (Sermon 65)

John Wesley

"Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him." Lev. 19:17.

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The End of Christ's Coming (Sermon 62)

John Wesley

"For this purpose was the Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." 1 John 3:8.

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The First Fruits of the Spirit (Sermon 8)

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

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Rom. 8:1

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The General Deliverance (Sermon 60)

John Wesley

"The earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him that subjected it: Yet in hope that the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth, and travaileth in pain together until now." Rom. 8:19-22.

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The General Deliverance (Sermon 66)

John Wesley

"The earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him that subjected it: Yet in hope that the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth, and travaileth in pain together until now." Rom. 8:19-22.

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The General Spread of the Gospel (Sermon 63)

John Wesley

"The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters covers the sea." Isa. 11:9.

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The General Spread of the Gospel (Sermon 63)

John Wesley

"The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters covers the sea." Isa. 11:9.

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The Good Steward (Sermon 51)

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

"Give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward." Luke 16:2.

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The Great Assize (Sermon 15)

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

Preached at the Assizes held before the Honorable Sir Edward Clive, Knight, one of the Judges of His Majesty's Court of Common Pleas, in St. Paul's Church, Bedford, on Friday, March 10, 1758; published at the request of William Cole, Esq., High Sheriff of the county, and others.

"We shall all stand before the judgement-seat of Christ." Rom. 14:10

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The Great Privilege of Those That Are Born of God (Sermon 19)

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

"Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin." 1 John 3:9.

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The Heavenly Treasure In Earthen Vessels (Sermon 124)

John Wesley

"We have this treasure in earthen vessels." 2 Cor. 4:7.

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The Imperfection Of Human Knowledge (Sermon 69)

John Wesley

"We know in part." 1 Cor. 13:9.

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The Important Question (Sermon 84)

John Wesley

"What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul" Matthew 16:26

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The Late Work of God in North America (Sermon 131)

John Wesley

"The appearance was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel." Ezek. 1:16.

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The Law Established Through Faith: Discourse One (Sermon 35)

John Wesley

"Do we then make void the law through faith God forbid: Yea, we establish the law." Romans 3:31.

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The Law Established Through Faith: Discourse Two (Sermon 36)

John Wesley

The Sermons of John Wesley 1872 Edition (Thomas Jackson, editor)

Do we then make void the law through faith God forbid! Yea, we establish the law." Rom. 3:31.

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The Lord our Righteousness (Sermon 20)

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

Preached at the Chapel in West-Street, Seven Dials, on Sunday, November 24, 1765

"This is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord our righteousness." Jer. 23:6.

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The Marks of the New Birth (Sermon 18)

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

"So is every one that is born of the Spirit." John 3:8.

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The Means of Grace (Sermon 16)

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

"Ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them." Mal. 3:7.

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