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John Welsey Essay

4666 words - 19 pages

John Wesley was a powerful personality whose passion and devotion to his cause and beliefs led him to

explore and change people's view on Christianity and on the interpretation of the Scriptures. During his lifetime

Wesley's determination and occasional dictatorial nature allowed him to influence people and help them change

their opinion on religion. John Wesley's achievements spanned the majority of his lifetime. From his journeys to

preach from England to Georgia, U.S.A. To other parts of Europe. Him writing a few hundred sermons. His

longevity enabling him to see the beginning of Methodism's development. In which both of them were highly

involved with do to their ...view middle of the document...

There are three distinct stages of Wesley's theology development.”6 The first stage
references to the time between his ordination as deacon on September 19, 1725 to his Aldersgate experience on May 14, 1738. Many scholars believe that 1725 marked
the beginning of John Wesley's religious awakening and the first of three stages in his development.7

During this period of Wesley's life he began to form his doctrine on the Holy Spirit. There are a few essential

people and writings that influenced Wesley and shaped his ideology.

Wesley came into contact with Bishop Jeremy Taylor's Rules and Exercises of Holy Living and Dying, Thomas a' Kempis's Christian Pattern, and William Law's Christian Perfection and serious Call. These writings made a profound impact upon Wesley's spirituality. They put him on the path toward inward holiness.8

Also during this time “Wesley was elected a fellow of Lincoln College on March 17,1726.”9 In the middle of this

event Charles his younger brother had entered “Christ Church and was a member of a small group of Oxford

students who meet regularly for the purpose of spiritual formation.”10 Soon after “John became the unofficial

leader of the group.”11 This group's main focus was were education, prayer, Bible study, Religious practices and


A second development in his early years was Wesley “became acquainted with ancient Christian

Literature”12 The influence of these works is evident in his material especially Macarius and Egyptian and

Ephren Syrus. Wesley believed that their lifestyle is correct and real Christianity ideas are throughout the works.

Another idea is the “Christians emphasis on the person and experiental work of the Spirit.”13 It was these events

and influences that were an important part in the foundation of Wesley's pneumatology. The influences became

evident when he first spoke of his sermon “'The Circumcision of the Heart'”14

On January 1, 1733, at Saint Mary's Oxford, Wesley preached 'The Circumcision
of the Heart', which contains the basic elements of his soteriology. This sermon also
says more about the Holy Spirit than any of his other sermons prior this time. However,
it appears that he was still working out his understanding of the relationship of the Holy
Spirit and his overall theology.15

In 1735 the Wesley brothers journeyed to Savannah, Georgia on a pilgrimage. John's mission “was to minister to

the colonists in Savannah.”16 It was in Georgia where John friended the Moravians. “The Moravians were

German pietists who were associated with teachings of Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf.”17 Back in

England John “Meet a Moravian by the name of Peter Bohler. He convinced John further that conversion

happened in an instant and that a real Christian would have assurance of their salvation.”18 The Moravians were a

huge influence on John Wesley. At this point in his...

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