John Wesley

England Before and After Wesley

It is the plain old Christianity that I teach. John Wesley

As British Methodists consider their bleak future, we would do well to remember the contribution of their founder, John Wesley.

In an excellent article Donald Drew describes England before and after Wesley. He explains what was at the heart of Wesley's world changing movement,

Wesley's central understanding of Christianity was individual redemption leading to social regeneration. He believed that the main purpose of the Bible is to show sinners their way back to God by the atoning sacrifice of Christ. This and this only he preached.

But he understood also that social changes are an inevitable by-product and a useful piece of evidence of conversion. Therefore, because of the preaching, the high moral principles enshrined in Scriptures slowly began to take root in people's minds. Wesley knew that God's Word calls for the salvation of individual souls but also gives us firm ordinances for national existence and a common social life. Under God, this was his goal, and he never lost sight of it.

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Wesley's covenant prayer

John-Wesley Some Wesleyan friends introduced me to John Wesely's Covenant Prayer.

I am no longer my own, but yours.

Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will; put me to doing, put me to suffering; let me be employed for you or laid aside for you, exalted for you or brought low for you; let me be full, let me be empty; let me have all things, let me have nothing; I freely and heartily yield all things to your pleasure and disposal

And now, O glorious and blessed God, Faither, Son and Holy Spirit, you are mine, and I am yours. So be it.

And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.

Amen.

This prayer was the heart beat of one of the most dynamic movements for the renewal and expansion of the Christian movement.