John Wesley

Portrait by [[George Romney (painter) |George Romney]] (1789),<br />[[National Portrait Gallery, London |National Portrait Gallery]], London John Wesley (;, though often pronounced as }} 2 March 1791) was an English cleric, theologian and evangelist who was a leader of a revival movement within the Church of England known as Methodism. The societies he founded became the dominant form of the independent Methodist movement that continues to this day.

Educated at Charterhouse and Christ Church, Oxford, Wesley was elected a fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, in 1726 and ordained as an Anglican priest two years later. He led the "Holy Club", a society formed for the purpose of the study and the pursuit of a devout Christian life; it had been founded by his brother, Charles, and counted George Whitefield among its members. After an unsuccessful ministry of two years at Savannah, serving at Christ Church, 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 left 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, Wesley embraced Arminian doctrines. Moving across Great Britain and Ireland, he helped form and organize small Christian groups that developed intensive and personal accountability, discipleship and religious instruction. He appointed itinerant, unordained evangelists 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 the abolition of slavery.

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. His evangelicalism, firmly grounded in sacramental theology, maintained that means of grace sometimes had a role in sanctification of the believer; however, he taught that it was by faith a believer was transformed into the likeness of Christ. He held that, in this life, Christians could achieve a state where the love of God "reigned supreme in their hearts", giving them not only outward but inward holiness. Wesley's teachings, collectively known as Wesleyan theology, continue to inform the doctrine of the Methodist churches.

Throughout his life, Wesley remained within the established Church of England, insisting that the Methodist movement lay well within its tradition. In his early ministry, Wesley was barred from preaching in many parish churches and the Methodists were persecuted; he later became widely respected and, by the end of his life, had been described as "the best-loved man in England". Provided by Wikipedia

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by Wesley, John
Published 1778
[s.n.]

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by Wesley, John
Published 1777
Printed by J. Fry and Co

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by Wesley, John
Published 1774
R. Hawes

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by Wesley, John
Published 1782
printed by J. Paramore

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by Wesley, John
Published 1794
printed by G. Paramore , North-Green, Moorfields ; and sold by G. Whitfield , at the Chapel, City-Road ; and at the Methodist Preaching-Houses in town and country

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by Wesley, John
Published 1792
printed by G. Paramore , North-Green, Worship-Street ; and sold by G. Whitfield , at the Chapel, City-Road ; and at the Methodist preaching-houses, in town and country

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by Wesley, John
Published 1741
printed by W. Strahan, in the year

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by Wesley, John
Published 1780

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by Wesley, John
Published 1775
Printed by R. Hawes

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by Wesley, John
Published 1775
Printed by R. Hawes

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by Wesley, John
Published 1776
[s.n.]

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by Wesley, John
Published 1774
Printed by R. Hawes

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by Wesley, John
Published 1824
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

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by Wesley, John
Published 1795
Printed by Henry Tuckniss, no. 25, Church-Alley, and sold by John Dickins, no. 44, North Second Street, near Arch Street

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by Wesley, John
Published 1792
Printed by Johnston & Justice, at Franklin's Head, no. 41, Chesnut-Street. MDCCXCII. For William Glendinning, preacher of the Gospel

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by Wesley, John
Published 1770
Printed by S. Powell, in Dame-street, and sold at the New Room in White Friar-street

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by Wesley, John
Published 1796
Printed for G. Whitfield, at the New Chapel, City-Road, near Finsbury-Square

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by Wesley, John
Published 1795
Printed by William Durell, and sold at his book store, no. 208, Pearl-Street

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by Wesley, John
Published 1775
printed by Robert Hawes, the Corner of Dorset-Street, Crispin-Street, Spitalfields. And sold at the Foundry, Moorfields