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 Wisdom of God's Counsel's (Sermon 68)

John Wesley

"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!" Rom. 11:33.

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The Witness of Our Own Spirit (Sermon 12)

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

"This is our rejoicing, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world." (2 Cor. 1:12.)

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The Witness of the Spirit: Discourse One (Sermon 10)

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

"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." Rom. 8:16

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The Witness of the Spirit: Discourse Two (Sermon 11)

John Wesley
Portrait of John Wesley

"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." Rom. 8:16

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The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M., Vol. I

Thomas Jackson
John Wesley

The Journal of John Wesley from October 14, 1735, to November 29, 1745.

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The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M., Vol. II

John Wesley
Thomas Jackson

The Journal of John Wesley from December 2, 1745, to May 5, 1760

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The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M., Vol. III

John Wesley
Thomas Jackson

The Journal of John Wesley from May 6, 1760, to October 28, 1762.

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The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M., Vol. IV

John Wesley
Thomas Jackson
John Wesley portrait

The Journal of John Wesley from September 13, 1773, to October 24, 1790.

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The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M., Vol. IX

Thomas Jackson
John Wesley
John Wesley

Sermons on Several Occasions. Second Series Concluded. Third, Fourth, and Fifth Series.

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The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M., Vol. V

Thomas Jackson
John Wesley
John Wesley portrait

Sermons on several occasions. First Series. Consisting of fifty-three discourses. Published in four volumes, in the year 1771; and to which reference is made in the trus-deeds of the Methodist chaples, as constituing, with Mr. Wesley's notes on the New Testament, The Standard Doctrines of the Methodist Connexion. 

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The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M., Vol. VI

Thomas Jackson
John Wesley
John Wesley portrait

Sermons on several occasions. First series continued. Second series

 

 

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The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M., Vol. VI

Thomas Jackson
John Wesley

Sermons on Several Occasions. First Series Concluded. Second Series. 

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The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M., Vol. VII

Thomas Jackson
John Wesley
John Wesley portrait

Sermons on Several Occasions. Second Series Concluded. Third, Fourth, and Fifth Series.

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The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M., Vol. VIII

Thomas Jackson
John Wesley
John Wesley portrait

Appeals and Minutes.

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True Christianity (Sermon 134)

John Wesley
John Wesley image

"How is the faithful city become an harlot!" Isa. 2:21.

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Upon Our Lord's Sermon On The Mount: Discourse Eight (Sermon 28)

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

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal; For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" Matt.

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Upon our Lord's Sermon on The Mount: Discourse Eight (Sermon 28)

John Wesley

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal; For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" Matt.

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Upon our Lord's Sermon on The Mount: Discourse Eleven (Sermon 31)

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

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: For wide is the gate, and broad is the way, which leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in threat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matt. 7:13, 14.

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Upon our Lord's Sermon on The Mount: Discourse Five (Sermon 25)

John Wesley
John Wesley image

"Think not that I am come to destroy the Law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you: Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

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Upon Our Lord's Sermon On The Mount: Discourse Five (Sermon 25)

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

"Think not that I am come to destroy the Law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you: Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

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