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 Ministerial Office (Sermon 115)

John Wesley

"No man taketh this honour unto himself but he that is called of God, as was Aaron." Hebrews 5:4.

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The More Excellent Way (Sermon 89)

John Wesley

"Covet earnestly the best gifts; And yet I show to you a more excellent way." 1 Cor. 12:31.

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The Mystery of Iniquity (Sermon 61)

John Wesley

"The mystery of iniquity doth already work." 2 Thess. 2:7.

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The Nature of Enthusiasm (Sermon 37)

John Wesley

"And Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself." Acts 26:24.

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The New Birth (Sermon 45)

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

"Ye must be born again." John 3:7.
Sermon 45 of John Wesley

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The New Creation (Sermon 64)

John Wesley

Behold, I make all things new. Rev. 21:5.

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The Original, Nature, Property, and Use of The Law (Sermon 34)

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

"Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." Rom. 7:12

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The Reformation of Manners "Who Will Rise Up" (Sermon 52)

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

Preached before the Society for Reformation of Manners on Sunday, January 30, 1763 at the Chapel in West-Street, Seven-Dials

"Who will rise up with me against the wicked" Ps. 94:16.

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The Repentance of Believers (Sermon 14)

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

"Repent ye, and believe the gospel." Mark 1:15.

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The Reward of the Righteous (Sermon 99)

John Wesley
John Wesley

PREACHED BEFORE THE HUMANE SOCIETY

"Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." Matt. 25:34

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The Rich Man and Lazarus (Sermon 112)

John Wesley

"If they hear not Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." Luke 16:31

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The Righteousness of Faith (Sermon 6)

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

"Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: That is, the word of faith, which we preach." Rom. 10:5-8.

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The Scripture Way of Salvation (Sermon 43)

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

"Ye are saved through faith." -- Ephesians 2:8.

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The Signs of the Times (Sermon 66)

John Wesley

"Ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times" Matt. 16:3.

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The Spirit of Bondage and of Adoption (Sermon 9)

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

"Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father." Romans 8:15.

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The Trouble and Rest of Good Men (Sermon 127)

John Wesley
John Wesley image

Preached at St. Mary's in Oxford, on Sunday, September 21, 1735. Published at the request of several of the hearers.

"There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary be at rest." Job 3:17.

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The Unity of the Divine Being (Sermon 114)

John Wesley

"There is one God." Mark 12:32.

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The Use of Money (Sermon 50)

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

"I say unto you, Make unto yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into the everlasting habitations." Luke 16:9.

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The Way to the Kingdom (Sermon 7)

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

"The kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." Mark 1:15

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The Wilderness State (Sermon 46)

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

"Ye now have sorrow: But I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you." John 16:22.

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