John Wesley (/ˈwɛsli/; 28 June [O.S. 17 June] 1703 – 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 present.
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 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 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 organise small Christian groups that developed intensive and personal accountability, discipleship and religious instruction; most importantly, 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. 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. His teachings are collectively known as Wesleyanism.
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". In 2002, he was placed at number 50 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.
|Born||28 June [O.S. 17 June] 1703|
|Died||2 March 1791 (aged 87)|
|Nationality||British (English until 1707)|
|Alma mater||Christ Church College, Oxford and Lincoln College, Oxford|
(m. 1751; separated 1758)
|Parent(s)||Samuel and Susanna Wesley|
|Religion||Christian (Anglican / Methodist)|
|Church||Church of England|
John Wesley was born in 1703 in Epworth, 23 miles (37 km) north-west of Lincoln, as the fifteenth child of Samuel Wesley and his wife Susanna Wesley (née Annesley). Samuel Wesley was a graduate of the University of Oxford and a poet who, from 1696, was rector of Epworth. He married Susanna, the twenty-fifth child of Samuel Annesley, a dissenting minister, in 1689. Ultimately, she bore nineteen children, of which nine lived beyond infancy. She and Samuel Wesley had become members of the Church of England as young adults.
As in many families at the time, Wesley's parents gave their children their early education. Each child, including the girls, was taught to read as soon as they could walk and talk. They were expected to become proficient in Latin and Greek and to have learned major portions of the New Testament by heart. Susanna Wesley examined each child before the midday meal and before evening prayers. The children were not allowed to eat between meals and were interviewed singly by their mother one evening each week for the purpose of intensive spiritual instruction. In 1714, at age 11, Wesley was sent to the Charterhouse School in London (under the mastership of John King from 1715), where he lived the studious, methodical and, for a while, religious life in which he had been trained at home.
Apart from his disciplined upbringing, a rectory fire which occurred on 9 February 1708, when Wesley was five years old, left an indelible impression. Some time after 11:00 pm, the rectory roof caught on fire. Sparks falling on the children's beds and cries of "fire" from the street roused the Wesleys who managed to shepherd all their children out of the house except for John who was left stranded on an upper floor. With stairs aflame and the roof about to collapse, Wesley was lifted out of a window by a parishioner standing on another man's shoulders. Wesley later used the phrase, "a brand plucked out of the fire", quoting Zechariah 3:2, to describe the incident. This childhood deliverance subsequently became part of the Wesley legend, attesting to his special destiny and extraordinary work.
In June 1720, Wesley entered Christ Church, Oxford. In 1724, he graduated as a Bachelor of Arts and decided to pursue a Master of Arts degree. He was ordained a deacon on 25 September 1725—holy orders being a necessary step toward becoming a fellow and tutor at the university.
In the year of his ordination he read Thomas à Kempis and Jeremy Taylor, showed his interest in mysticism, and began to seek the religious truths which underlay the great revival of the 18th century. The reading of William Law's Christian Perfection and A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life gave him, he said, a more sublime view of the law of God; and he resolved to keep it, inwardly and outwardly, as sacredly as possible, believing that in obedience he would find salvation. He pursued a rigidly methodical and abstemious life, studied the Scriptures, and performed his religious duties diligently, depriving himself so that he would have alms to give. He began to seek after holiness of heart and life.
In March 1726, Wesley was unanimously elected a fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford. This carried with it the right to a room at the college and regular salary. While continuing his studies, he taught Greek, lectured on the New Testament and moderated daily disputations at the university. However, a call to ministry intruded upon his academic career. In August 1727, after taking his master's degree, Wesley returned to Epworth. His father had requested his assistance in serving the neighbouring cure of Wroot. Ordained a priest on 22 September 1728, Wesley served as a parish curate for two years. He returned to Oxford in November 1729 at the request of the Rector of Lincoln College and to maintain his status as junior fellow.
During Wesley's absence, his younger brother Charles (1707–88) matriculated at Christ Church. Along with two fellow students, he formed a small club for the purpose of study and the pursuit of a devout Christian life. On Wesley's return, he became the leader of the group which increased somewhat in number and greatly in commitment. The group met daily from six until nine for prayer, psalms, and reading of the Greek New Testament. They prayed every waking hour for several minutes and each day for a special virtue. While the church's prescribed attendance was only three times a year, they took Communion every Sunday. They fasted on Wednesdays and Fridays until three o'clock as was commonly observed in the ancient church. In 1730, the group began the practice of visiting prisoners in jail. They preached, educated, and relieved jailed debtors whenever possible, and cared for the sick.
Given the low ebb of spirituality in Oxford at that time, it was not surprising that Wesley's group provoked a negative reaction. They were considered to be religious "enthusiasts", which in the context of the time meant religious fanatics. University wits styled them the "Holy Club", a title of derision. Currents of opposition became a furore following the mental breakdown and death of a group member, William Morgan. In response to the charge that "rigorous fasting" had hastened his death, Wesley noted that Morgan had left off fasting a year and a half since. In the same letter, which was widely circulated, Wesley referred to the name "Methodist" with which "some of our neighbors are pleased to compliment us." That name was used by an anonymous author in a published pamphlet (1733) describing Wesley and his group, "The Oxford Methodists".
For all of his outward piety, Wesley sought to cultivate his inner holiness or at least his sincerity as evidence of being a true Christian. A list of "General Questions" which he developed in 1730 evolved into an elaborate grid by 1734 in which he recorded his daily activities hour-by-hour, resolutions he had broken or kept, and ranked his hourly "temper of devotion" on a scale of 1 to 9. Wesley also regarded the contempt with which he and his group were held to be a mark of a true Christian. As he put it in a letter to his father, "Till he be thus contemned, no man is in a state of salvation."
On 14 October 1735, Wesley and his brother Charles sailed on The Simmonds from Gravesend in Kent for Savannah in the Province of Georgia in the American colonies at the request of James Oglethorpe, who had founded the colony in 1733 on behalf of the Trustees for the Establishment of the Colony of Georgia in America. Oglethorpe wanted Wesley to be the minister of the newly formed Savannah parish, a new town laid out in accordance with the famous Oglethorpe Plan.
It was on the voyage to the colonies that the Wesleys first came into contact with Moravian settlers. Wesley was influenced by their deep faith and spirituality rooted in pietism. At one point in the voyage a storm came up and broke the mast off the ship. While the English panicked, the Moravians calmly sang hymns and prayed. This experience led Wesley to believe that the Moravians possessed an inner strength which he lacked. The deeply personal religion that the Moravian pietists practised heavily influenced Wesley's theology of Methodism.
Wesley arrived in the colony in February 1736. He approached the Georgia mission as a High churchman, seeing it as an opportunity to revive "primitive Christianity" in a primitive environment. Although his primary goal was to evangelize the Native Americans, a shortage of clergy in the colony largely limited his ministry to European settlers in Savannah. While his ministry has often been judged to have been a failure in comparison to his later success as a leader in the Evangelical Revival, Wesley gathered around him a group of devoted Christians who met in a number of small group religious societies. At the same time, attendance at church services and Communion increased over the course of nearly two years in which he served as Savannah's parish priest.
Nonetheless, Wesley's High Church ministry was controversial among the colonists and it ended in disappointment after Wesley fell in love with a young woman named Sophia Hopkey. He hesitated to marry her because he felt that his first priority in Georgia was to be a missionary to the Indigenous Americans, and he was interested in the practice of clerical celibacy within the early Christianity. Following her marriage to William Williamson, Wesley believed Sophia's former zeal for practising the Christian faith declined. In strictly applying the rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer, Wesley denied her Communion after she failed to signify to him in advance her intention of taking it. As a result, legal proceedings against him ensued in which a clear resolution seemed unlikely. In December 1737, Wesley fled the colony and returned to England.
It has been widely recognised that one of the most significant accomplishments of Wesley's Georgia mission was his publication of a Collection of Psalms and Hymns. The Collection was the first Anglican hymnal published in America, and the first of many hymn-books Wesley published. It included five hymns he translated from German.
Wesley returned to England depressed and beaten. It was at this point that he turned to the Moravians. Both he and Charles received counsel from the young Moravian missionary Peter Boehler, who was temporarily in England awaiting permission to depart for Georgia himself. Wesley's noted "Aldersgate experience" of 24 May 1738, at a Moravian meeting in Aldersgate Street, London, in which he heard a reading of Martin Luther's preface to the Epistle to the Romans, revolutionised the character and method of his ministry. The previous week he had been highly impressed by the sermon of John Heylyn, whom he was assisting in the service at St Mary le Strand. Earlier that day, he had heard the choir at St Paul's Cathedral singing Psalm 130, where the Psalmist calls to God "Out of the depths."
But it was still a depressed Wesley who attended a service on the evening of 24 May. Wesley recounted his Aldersgate experience in his journal:
"In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther's Preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation, and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death."
A few weeks later, Wesley preached a sermon on the doctrine of personal salvation by faith, which was followed by another, on God's grace "free in all, and free for all." Considered a pivotal moment, Daniel L. Burnett writes: "The significance of Wesley's Aldersgate Experience is monumental … Without it the names of Wesley and Methodism would likely be nothing more than obscure footnotes in the pages of church history." Burnett describes this event Wesley's "Evangelical Conversion". It is commemorated in Methodist churches as Aldersgate Day.
Wesley allied himself with the Moravian society in Fetter Lane. In 1738 he went to Herrnhut, the Moravian headquarters in Germany, to study. On his return to England, Wesley drew up rules for the "bands" into which the Fetter Lane Society was divided and published a collection of hymns for them. He met frequently with this and other religious societies in London but did not preach often in 1738, because most of the parish churches were closed to him.
Wesley's Oxford friend, the evangelist George Whitefield, was also excluded from the churches of Bristol upon his return from America. Going to the neighbouring village of Kingswood, in February 1739, Whitefield preached in the open air to a company of miners. Later he preached in Whitefield's Tabernacle. Wesley hesitated to accept Whitefield's call to copy this bold step. Overcoming his scruples, he preached the first time at Whitefield's invitation sermon in the open air, near Bristol, in April 1739. Wesley wrote,
I could scarce reconcile myself to this strange way of preaching in the fields, of which he [Whitefield] set me an example on Sunday; having been all my life till very lately so tenacious of every point relating to decency and order, that I should have thought the saving of souls almost a sin if it had not been done in a church.
Wesley was unhappy about the idea of field preaching as he believed Anglican liturgy had much to offer in its practice. Earlier in his life he would have thought that such a method of saving souls was "almost a sin." He recognised the open-air services were successful in reaching men and women who would not enter most churches. From then on he took the opportunities to preach wherever an assembly could be brought together, more than once using his father's tombstone at Epworth as a pulpit. Wesley continued for fifty years—entering churches when he was invited, and taking his stand in the fields, in halls, cottages, and chapels, when the churches would not receive him.
Late in 1739 Wesley broke with the Moravians in London. Wesley had helped them organise the Fetter Lane Society, and those converted by his preaching and that of his brother and Whitefield had become members of their bands. But he believed they fell into heresy by supporting quietism, so he decided to form his own followers into a separate society. "Thus," he wrote, "without any previous plan, began the Methodist Society in England." He soon formed similar societies in Bristol and Kingswood, and Wesley and his friends made converts wherever they went.
From 1739 onward, Wesley and the Methodists were persecuted by clergy and magistrates for various reasons. Though Wesley had been ordained an Anglican priest, many other Methodist leaders had not received ordination. And for his own part, Wesley flouted many regulations of the Church of England concerning parish boundaries and who had authority to preach. This was seen as a social threat that disregarded institutions. Clergy attacked them in sermons and in print, and at times mobs attacked them. Wesley and his followers continued to work among the neglected and needy. They were denounced as promulgators of strange doctrines, fomenters of religious disturbances; as blind fanatics, leading people astray, claiming miraculous gifts, attacking the clergy of the Church of England, and trying to re-establish Catholicism.
Wesley felt that the church failed to call sinners to repentance, that many of the clergy were corrupt, and that people were perishing in their sins. He believed he was commissioned by God to bring about revival in the church, and no opposition, persecution, or obstacles could prevail against the divine urgency and authority of this commission. The prejudices of his high-church training, his strict notions of the methods and proprieties of public worship, his views of the apostolic succession and the prerogatives of the priest, even his most cherished convictions, were not allowed to stand in the way.
Seeing that he and the few clergy co-operating with him could not do the work that needed to be done, Wesley was led, as early as 1739, to approve local preachers. He evaluated and approved men who were not ordained by the Anglican Church to preach and do pastoral work. This expansion of lay preachers was one of the keys of the growth of Methodism.
As his societies needed houses to worship in, Wesley began to provide chapels, first in Bristol at the New Room, then in London (first The Foundery and then Wesley's Chapel) and elsewhere. The Foundery was an early chapel used by Wesley. The location of the Foundery is shown on an 18th-century map, where it rests between Tabernacle Street and Worship Street in the Moorfields area of London. When the Wesleys spotted the building atop Windmill Hill, north of Finsbury Fields, the structure which previously cast brass guns and mortars for the Royal Ordnance had been sitting vacant for 23 years; it had been abandoned because of an explosion on 10 May 1716.
The Bristol chapel (built in 1739) was at first in the hands of trustees. A large debt was contracted, and Wesley's friends urged him to keep it under his own control, so the deed was cancelled and he became sole trustee. Following this precedent, all Methodist chapels were committed in trust to him until by a "deed of declaration", all his interests in them were transferred to a body of preachers called the "Legal Hundred".
When disorder arose among some members of the societies, Wesley adopted giving tickets to members, with their names written by his own hand. These were renewed every three months. Those deemed unworthy did not receive new tickets and dropped out of the society without disturbance. The tickets were regarded as commendatory letters.
When the debt on a chapel became a burden, it was proposed that one in 12 members should collect offerings regularly from the 11 allotted to him. Out of this grew the Methodist class-meeting system in 1742. To keep the disorderly out of the societies, Wesley established a probationary system. He undertook to visit each society regularly in what became the quarterly visitation, or conference. As the number of societies increased, Wesley could not keep personal contact, so in 1743 he drew up a set of "General Rules" for the "United Societies". These were the nucleus of the Methodist Discipline, still the basis.
Wesley laid the foundations of what now constitutes the organisation of the Methodist Church. Over time, a shifting pattern of societies, circuits, quarterly meetings, annual Conferences, classes, bands, and select societies took shape. At the local level, there were numerous societies of different sizes which were grouped into circuits to which travelling preachers were appointed for two-year periods. Circuit officials met quarterly under a senior travelling preacher or "assistant." Conferences with Wesley, travelling preachers and others were convened annually for the purpose of co-ordinating doctrine and discipline for the entire connection. Classes of a dozen or so society members under a leader met weekly for spiritual fellowship and guidance. In early years, there were "bands" of the spiritually gifted who consciously pursued perfection. Those who were regarded to have achieved it were grouped in select societies or bands. In 1744, there were 77 such members. There also was a category of penitents which consisted of backsliders.
As the number of preachers and preaching-places increased, doctrinal and administrative matters needed to be discussed; so John and Charles Wesley, along with four other clergy and four lay preachers, met for consultation in London in 1744. This was the first Methodist conference; subsequently, the conference (with Wesley as its president) became the ruling body of the Methodist movement. Two years later, to help preachers work more systematically and societies receive services more regularly, Wesley appointed "helpers" to definitive circuits. Each circuit included at least 30 appointments a month. Believing that the preacher's efficiency was promoted by his being changed from one circuit to another every year or two, Wesley established the "itinerancy" and insisted that his preachers submit to its rules.
John Wesley had strong links with the North West of England, visiting Manchester on at least fifteen occasions between 1733 and 1790. In 1733 and 1738 he preached at St Ann's Church and Salford Chapel, meeting with his friend John Clayton. In 1781 Wesley opened the Chapel on Oldham Street part of the Manchester and Salford Wesleyan Methodist Mission, now the site of Manchester's Methodist Central Hall.
Wesley also has links to the Derbyshire town of Chapel-en-le-frith, where he visited four times between 1740 and 1786. His journal documents his first visit on 28 May 1745 preaching in the hamlet of Chapel Milton where the miller purportedly tried to drown out John with the sound of the watermill. His following visit twenty years later he preached in a field at Townend in Chapel-en-le-frith and by his subsequent visit on 1 April 1782 a chapel had been built. All that remains of the original chapel is an archway inscribed "1780" at the back of the current Townend Methodist Church.
Following an illness in 1748 John Wesley was nursed by a classleader and housekeeper at an orphan house in Newcastle, Grace Murray. Taken with Grace he invited her to travel with him to Ireland in 1749 where he believed them to be betrothed though they were never married. It has been suggested that his brother Charles Wesley objected to the engagement though this is disputed. Subsequently, Grace married John Bennett preacher and resident of Chapel-en-le-frith and John's last visit to Chapel-en-le-frith on 3 April 1786 at the age of 86 was at Grace's request. Grace and John Bennet are buried in Chinley Independent Chapel in Chapel Milton.
As the societies multiplied, they adopted the elements of an ecclesiastical system. The divide between Wesley and the Church of England widened. The question of division from the Church of England was urged by some of his preachers and societies, but most strenuously opposed by his brother Charles. Wesley refused to leave the Church of England, believing that Anglicanism was "with all her blemishes, [...] nearer the Scriptural plans than any other in Europe". In 1745 Wesley wrote that he would make any concession which his conscience permitted, to live in peace with the clergy. He could not give up the doctrine of an inward and present salvation by faith itself; he would not stop preaching, nor dissolve the societies, nor end preaching by lay members. As a cleric of the established church he had no plans to go further.
When, in 1746, Wesley read Lord King's account of the primitive church, he became convinced that apostolic succession could be transmitted through not only bishops, but also priests. He wrote that he was "a scriptural episkopos as much as many men in England." Although he believed in apostolic succession, he also once called the idea of uninterrupted succession a "fable".
Many years later, Edward Stillingfleet's Irenicon led him to decide that ordination (and holy orders) could be valid when performed by a presbyter (priest) rather than a bishop. Nevertheless, some believe that Wesley was secretly consecrated a bishop in 1763 by Erasmus of Arcadia, and that Wesley could not openly announce his episcopal consecration without incurring the penalty of the Præmunire Act.
In 1784, he believed he could not longer wait for the Bishop of London to ordain someone for the American Methodists, who were without the sacraments after the American War of Independence. The Church of England had been disestablished in the United States, where it had been the state church in most of the southern colonies. The Church of England had not yet appointed a United States bishop to what would become the Protestant Episcopal Church in America. Wesley ordained Thomas Coke as superintendent of Methodists in the United States by the laying on of hands, although Coke was already a priest in the Church of England. He also ordained Richard Whatcoat and Thomas Vasey as presbyters. Whatcoat and Vasey sailed to America with Coke. Wesley intended that Coke and Francis Asbury (whom Coke ordained as superintendent by direction of Wesley) should ordain others in the newly founded Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States. In 1787, Coke and Asbury persuaded the American Methodists to refer to them as bishops rather than superintendents, overruling Wesley's objections to the change.
His brother, Charles, was alarmed by the ordinations and Wesley's evolving view of the matter. He begged Wesley to stop before he had "quite broken down the bridge" and not embitter his [Charles'] last moments on earth, nor "leave an indelible blot on our memory." Wesley replied that he had not separated from the church, nor did he intend to, but he must and would save as many souls as he could while alive, "without being careful about what may possibly be when I die." Although Wesley rejoiced that the Methodists in America were free, he advised his English followers to remain in the established church and he himself died within it.
The 20th-century Wesley scholar Albert Outler argued in his introduction to the 1964 collection John Wesley that Wesley developed his theology by using a method that Outler termed the Wesleyan Quadrilateral. In this method, Wesley believed that the living core of Christianity was revealed in Scripture; and the Bible was the sole foundational source of theological development. The centrality of Scripture was so important for Wesley that he called himself "a man of one book"—meaning the Bible—although he was well-read for his day. However, he believed that doctrine had to be in keeping with Christian orthodox tradition. So, tradition was considered the second aspect of the Quadrilateral.
Wesley contended that a part of the theological method would involve experiential faith. In other words, truth would be vivified in personal experience of Christians (overall, not individually), if it were really truth. And every doctrine must be able to be defended rationally. He did not divorce faith from reason. Tradition, experience and reason, however, were subject always to Scripture, Wesley argued, because only there is the Word of God revealed "so far as it is necessary for our salvation."
The doctrines which Wesley emphasised in his sermons and writings are prevenient grace, present personal salvation by faith, the witness of the Spirit, and sanctification. Prevenient grace was the theological underpinning of his belief that all persons were capable of being saved by faith in Christ. Unlike the Calvinists of his day, Wesley did not believe in predestination, that is, that some persons had been elected by God for salvation and others for damnation. He understood that Christian orthodoxy insisted that salvation was only possible by the sovereign grace of God. He expressed his understanding of humanity's relationship to God as utter dependence upon God's grace. God was at work to enable all people to be capable of coming to faith by empowering humans to have actual existential freedom of response to God.
Wesley defined the witness of the Spirit as: "an inward impression on the soul of believers, whereby the Spirit of God directly testifies to their spirit that they are the children of God." He based this doctrine upon certain Biblical passages (see Romans 8:15–16 as an example). This doctrine was closely related to his belief that salvation had to be "personal." In his view, a person must ultimately believe the Good News for himself or herself; no one could be in relation to God for another.
Sanctification he described in 1790 as the "grand depositum which God has lodged with the people called 'Methodists'." Wesley taught that sanctification was obtainable after justification by faith, between justification and death. He did not contend for "sinless perfection"; rather, he contended that a Christian could be made "perfect in love". (Wesley studied Eastern Orthodoxy and embraced particularly the doctrine of Theosis). This love would mean, first of all, that a believer's motives, rather than being self-centred, would be guided by the deep desire to please God. One would be able to keep from committing what Wesley called, "sin rightly so-called." By this he meant a conscious or intentional breach of God's will or laws. A person could still be able to sin, but intentional or wilful sin could be avoided.
Secondly, to be made perfect in love meant, for Wesley, that a Christian could live with a primary guiding regard for others and their welfare. He based this on Christ's quote that the second great command is "to love your neighbour as you love yourself." In his view, this orientation would cause a person to avoid any number of sins against his neighbour. This love, plus the love for God that could be the central focus of a person's faith, would be what Wesley referred to as "a fulfilment of the law of Christ."
Wesley entered controversies as he tried to enlarge church practice. The most notable of his controversies was that on Calvinism. His father was of the Arminian school in the church. Wesley came to his own conclusions while in college and expressed himself strongly against the doctrines of Calvinistic election and reprobation. His system of thought has become known as Wesleyan Arminianism, the foundations of which were laid by Wesley and fellow preacher John William Fletcher.
Whitefield inclined to Calvinism. In his first tour in America, he embraced the views of the New England School of Calvinism. When in 1739 Wesley preached a sermon on Freedom of Grace, attacking the Calvinistic understanding of predestination as blasphemous, as it represented "God as worse than the devil," Whitefield asked him not to repeat or publish the discourse, as he did not want a dispute. Wesley published his sermon anyway. Whitefield was one of many who responded. The two men separated their practice in 1741. Wesley wrote that those who held to unlimited atonement did not desire separation, but "those who held 'particular redemption' would not hear of any accommodation."
Whitefield, Harris, Cennick, and others, became the founders of Calvinistic Methodism. Whitefield and Wesley, however, were soon back on friendly terms, and their friendship remained unbroken although they travelled different paths. When someone asked Whitefield if he thought he would see Wesley in heaven, Whitefield replied, "I fear not, for he will be so near the eternal throne and we at such a distance, we shall hardly get sight of him."
In 1770, the controversy broke out anew with violence and bitterness, as people's view of God related to their views of men and their possibilities. Augustus Toplady, Rowland, Richard Hill and others were engaged on one side, while Wesley and Fletcher stood on the other. Toplady was editor of The Gospel Magazine, which had articles covering the controversy.
In 1778, Wesley began the publication of The Arminian Magazine, not, he said, to convince Calvinists, but to preserve Methodists. He wanted to teach the truth that "God willeth all men to be saved." A "lasting peace" could be secured in no other way.
Later in his ministry, Wesley was a keen abolitionist, speaking out and writing against the slave trade. He published a pamphlet on slavery, titled Thoughts Upon Slavery, in 1774. He wrote, "Liberty is the right of every human creature, as soon as he breathes the vital air; and no human law can deprive him of that right which he derives from the law of nature". Wesley influenced George Whitefield to journey to the colonies, spurring the transatlantic debate on slavery. Wesley was a friend and mentor to John Newton and William Wilberforce, who were also influential in the abolition of slavery in Britain.
Women had an active role in Wesley's Methodism, and were encouraged to lead classes. In 1761, he informally allowed Sarah Crosby, one of his converts and a class leader, to preach. On an occasion where over 200 people attended a class she was meant to teach, Crosby felt as though she could not fulfill her duties as a class leader given the large crowd, and decided to preach instead. She wrote to Wesley to seek his advice and forgiveness. He let Crosby to continue her preaching so long as she refrained from as many of the mannerisms of preaching as she could. Between 1761 and 1771, Wesley wrote detailed instructions to Crosby and others, with specifics on what styles of preaching they could use. For instance, in 1769, Wesley allowed Crosby to give exhortations.
In the summer of 1771, Mary Bosanquet wrote to John Wesley to defend hers and Sarah Crosby's work preaching and leading classes at her orphanage, Cross Hall. Bosanquet's letter is considered to be the first full and true defense of women's preaching in Methodism. Her argument was that women should be able to preach when they experienced an 'extraordinary call,' or when given permission from God. Wesley accepted Bosanquet's argument, and formally began to allow women to preach in Methodism in 1771.
Wesley travelled widely, generally on horseback, preaching two or three times each day. Stephen Tomkins writes that "[Wesley] rode 250,000 miles, gave away 30,000 pounds, ... and preached more than 40,000 sermons... " He formed societies, opened chapels, examined and commissioned preachers, administered aid charities, prescribed for the sick, helped to pioneer the use of electric shock for the treatment of illness, superintended schools and orphanages and published his sermons.
Wesley practised a vegetarian diet and in later life abstained from wine for health reasons. Wesley warned against the dangers of alcohol abuse in his famous sermon, The Use of Money, and in his letter to an alcoholic. In his sermon, On Public Diversions, Wesley says: "You see the wine when it sparkles in the cup, and are going to drink of it. I tell you there is poison in it! and, therefore, beg you to throw it away". However, other materials show less concern with consumption of alcohol. He encourages experimentation in the role of hops in the brewing of beer in a letter which dates from 1789. Despite this, some Methodist churches became pioneers in the teetotal Temperance movement of the 19th and 20th centuries, and later it became de rigueur in all.
After attending a performance in Bristol Cathedral in 1758, Wesley said: "I went to the cathedral to hear Mr. Handel's Messiah. I doubt if that congregation was ever so serious at a sermon as they were during this performance. In many places, especially several of the choruses, it exceeded my expectation."
He is described as below medium height, well proportioned, strong, with a bright eye, a clear complexion, and a saintly, intellectual face. Though Wesley favoured celibacy than marital bond, he married very unhappily at the age of 48 to a widow, Mary Vazeille, described as "a well-to-do widow and mother of four children." The couple had no children. Vazeille left him 15 years later. John Singleton writes: "By 1758 she had left him – unable to cope, it is said, with the competition for his time and devotion presented by the ever-burgeoning Methodist movement. Molly, as she was known, was to return and leave him again on several occasions before their final separation." Wesley wryly reported in his journal, "I did not forsake her, I did not dismiss her, I will not recall her."
In 1770, at the death of George Whitefield, Wesley wrote a memorial sermon which praised Whitefield's admirable qualities and acknowledged the two men's differences: "There are many doctrines of a less essential nature ... In these we may think and let think; we may 'agree to disagree.' But, meantime, let us hold fast the essentials..." Wesley was the first to put the phrase "agree to disagree" in print.
Wesley's health declined sharply towards the end of his life and he ceased preaching. On 28 June 1790, less than a year before his death, he wrote:
This day I enter into my eighty-eighth year. For above eighty-six years, I found none of the infirmities of old age: my eyes did not wax dim, neither was my natural strength abated. But last August, I found almost a sudden change. My eyes were so dim that no glasses would help me. My strength likewise now quite forsook me and probably will not return in this world.
Wesley died on 2 March 1791, at the age of 87. As he lay dying, his friends gathered around him, Wesley grasped their hands and said repeatedly, "Farewell, farewell." At the end, he said, "The best of all is, God is with us", lifted his arms and raised his feeble voice again, repeating the words, "The best of all is, God is with us." He was entombed at his chapel on City Road, London.
Because of his charitable nature he died poor, leaving as the result of his life's work 135,000 members and 541 itinerant preachers under the name "Methodist". It has been said that "when John Wesley was carried to his grave, he left behind him a good library of books, a well-worn clergyman's gown" and the Methodist Church.
Wesley wrote, edited or abridged some 400 publications. As well as theology he wrote about music, marriage, medicine, abolitionism and politics. Wesley was a logical thinker and expressed himself clearly, concisely and forcefully in writing. His written sermons are characterised by spiritual earnestness and simplicity. They are doctrinal but not dogmatic. His Forty-Four Sermons and the Notes on the New Testament (1755) are Methodist doctrinal standards. Wesley was a fluent, powerful and effective preacher; he usually preached spontaneously and briefly, though occasionally at great length.
In his Christian Library (1750), he writes about mystics such as Macarius of Egypt, Ephrem the Syrian, Madame Guyon, François Fénelon, Ignatius of Loyola, John of Ávila, Francis de Sales, Blaise Pascal, and Antoinette Bourignon. The work reflects the influence of Christian mysticism in Wesley's ministry from the beginning to the end, although he ever rejected it after the failure in Georgia mission.
Wesley's prose, Works were first collected by himself (32 vols., Bristol, 1771–74, frequently reprinted in editions varying greatly in the number of volumes). His chief prose works are a standard publication in seven octavo volumes of the Methodist Book Concern, New York. The Poetical Works of John and Charles, ed. G. Osborn, appeared in 13 vols., London, 1868–72.
In addition to his Sermons and Notes are his Journals (originally published in 20 parts, London, 1740–89; new ed. by N. Curnock containing notes from unpublished diaries, 6 vols., vols. i–ii, London and New York, 1909–11); The Doctrine of Original Sin (Bristol, 1757; in reply to Dr. John Taylor of Norwich); An Earnest Appeal to Men of Reason and Religion (originally published in three parts; 2nd ed., Bristol, 1743), an elaborate defence of Methodism, describing the evils of the times in society and the church; and a Plain Account of Christian Perfection (1766).
Wesley adapted the Book of Common Prayer for use by American Methodists. In his Watch Night service, he made use of a pietist prayer now generally known as the Wesley Covenant Prayer, perhaps his most famous contribution to Christian liturgy. He also was a noted hymn-writer, translator and compiler of a hymnal.
Wesley also wrote on divine physics, such as in Desideratum, subtitled Electricity made Plain and Useful by a Lover of Mankind and of Common Sense (1759).
In spite of the proliferation of his literary output, Wesley was challenged for plagiarism for borrowing heavily from an essay by Samuel Johnson, publishing in March 1775. Initially denying the charge, Wesley later recanted and apologised officially.
Wesley continues to be the primary theological influence on Methodists and Methodist-heritage groups the world over; the largest bodies being the United Methodist Church, the Methodist Church of Great Britain and the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Wesleyan teachings also serve as a basis for the holiness movement, which includes denominations like the Wesleyan Church, the Free Methodist Church, the Church of the Nazarene, the Christian and Missionary Alliance, the Church of God (Anderson, IN), and several smaller groups, and from which Pentecostalism and parts of the Charismatic Movement are offshoots. Wesley's call to personal and social holiness continues to challenge Christians who attempt to discern what it means to participate in the Kingdom of God. In addition, he refined Arminianism with a strong evangelical emphasis on the Reformed doctrine of justification by faith.
He is commemorated in the Calendar of Saints of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on 2 March with his brother Charles. The Wesley brothers are also commemorated on 3 March in the Calendar of Saints of the Episcopal Church and on 24 May in the Anglican calendar.
Wesley's house and chapel, which he built in 1778 on City Road in London, are still intact today and the chapel has a thriving congregation with regular services as well as the Museum of Methodism in the crypt.
Numerous schools, colleges, hospitals and other institutions are named after Wesley; additionally, many are named after Methodism. In 1831, Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, was the first institution of higher education in the United States to be named after Wesley. The now secular institution was founded as an all-male Methodist college. About 20 unrelated colleges and universities in the United States were subsequently named after him.
Wesley's legacy is also preserved in Kingswood School, which he founded in 1748 to educate the children of the growing number of Methodist preachers. Also, one of the four form houses at the St Marylebone Church of England School, London, is named after John Wesley.
In 1954, the Radio and Film Commission of the British Methodist Church, in co-operation with J. Arthur Rank, produced the film John Wesley. The film was a live-action re-telling of the story of the life of Wesley, with Leonard Sachs in the title role.
In 2009, a more ambitious feature film, Wesley, was released by Foundery Pictures, starring Burgess Jenkins as Wesley, with June Lockhart as Susanna, R. Keith Harris as Charles Wesley, and the Golden Globe winner Kevin McCarthy as Bishop Ryder. The film was directed by the award-winning film-maker John Jackman.
The founder of Methodism was actually /ˈwɛsli/, though often pronounced as /ˈwɛzli/.
Mr. Wesley thus became a Bishop, and consecrated Dr. Coke, who united himself with ... who gave it under his own hand that Erasmus was Bishop of Arcadia, ...
Dr. Peters was present at the interview, and went with and introduced Dr. Seabury to Mr. Wesley, who was so far satisfied that he would have been willingly consecrated by him in Mr. Wesley would have signed his letter of orders as bishop, which Mr. Wesley could not do without incurring the penalty of the Præmunire Act.
I have accordingly appointed Dr. Coke and Mr. Francis Asbury to be joint superintendents over our brethren in North America...
This was the first time that our superintendents ever gave themselves the title of Bishops in the minutes. They changed the title themselves without the consent of the conference; and at the next conference they asked the preachers if the word Bishop might stand in the minutes; seeing that it was a scripture name, and the meaning of the word Bishop, was the same with that of Superintendent. Some of the preachers opposed the alteration... but a majority of the preachers agreed to let the word Bishop remain.
How can you, how dare you, suffer yourself to be called Bishop? I shudder, I start at the very thought! Men may call me a knave or a fool, a rascal, a scoundrel, and I am content; but they shall never, by my consent, call me Bishop! For my sake, for God's sake, for Christ's sake, put a full end to this!
Thanks be to God, since the time I gave up flesh meals and wine I have been delivered from all physical ills.
"Always on My Mind" is a rueful and nostalgic love song by Johnny Christopher, Mark James, and Wayne Carson first recorded by B.J. Thomas in 1970, and later Gwen McCrae (as "You Were Always on My Mind") and Brenda Lee in 1972. The song has been a crossover hit, charting in both the country and western and pop categories.
AllMusic lists over 300 recorded releases of the song in versions by dozens of performers. While Brenda Lee's version had stalled at number 45 on the country charts in 1972, other performers reached the top 20 in the United States and elsewhere with their own versions: Elvis Presley in 1972; John Wesley Ryles in 1979; Willie Nelson's Grammy Award-winning version in 1982; and Pet Shop Boys in 1987.Charles Wesley
Charles Wesley (18 December 1707 – 29 March 1788) was an English leader of the Methodist movement, most widely known for writing about 6,500 hymns.Wesley was born in Epworth, Lincolnshire, the son of Anglican cleric and poet Samuel Wesley and his wife Susanna. He was a younger brother of Methodist founder John Wesley and Anglican cleric Samuel Wesley the Younger, and he became the father of musician Samuel Wesley and grandfather of musician Samuel Sebastian Wesley.
Wesley was educated at Oxford where his brothers had also studied, and he formed the "Holy Club" among his fellow students in 1729. John Wesley later joined this group, as did George Whitefield. Charles followed his father and brother into the church in 1735, and he travelled with John to Georgia in America, returning a year later. In 1749, he married Sarah Gwynne, daughter of a Welsh gentleman who had been converted to Methodism by Howell Harris. She accompanied the brothers on their evangelistic journeys throughout Britain until Charles ceased to travel in 1765.
Despite their closeness, Charles and John did not always agree on questions relating to their beliefs. In particular, Charles was strongly opposed to the idea of a breach with the Church of England into which they had been ordained.Imparted righteousness
Imparted righteousness, in Methodist theology, is that gracious gift of God given at the moment of the new birth which enables a Christian disciple to strive for holiness and sanctification. John Wesley believed that imparted righteousness worked in tandem with imputed righteousness. Imputed righteousness is the righteousness of Jesus credited to the Christian, enabling the Christian to be justified; imparted righteousness is what God does in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit after justification, working in the Christian to enable and empower the process of sanctification (and, in Wesleyan thought, Christian perfection).John Dean
John Wesley Dean III (born October 14, 1938) is a former attorney who served as White House Counsel for United States President Richard Nixon from July 1970 until April 1973, where he became deeply involved in events leading up to the Watergate burglaries and the subsequent Watergate scandal cover-up. He was referred to as the "master manipulator of the cover-up" by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He pleaded guilty to a single felony count, in exchange for becoming a key witness for the prosecution. This ultimately resulted in a reduced prison sentence, which he served at Fort Holabird outside Baltimore, Maryland.
Shortly after the Watergate hearings, Dean wrote about his experiences in a series of books and traveled around the United States to lecture. Dean is currently a commentator on contemporary politics, authoring books, and writing a column for FindLaw's Writ online magazine. He is strongly critical of neoconservatism and the Republican Party, and is a registered independent. He has been strongly critical of Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump.John W. Longyear
John Wesley Longyear (October 22, 1820, in New York, U.S. – March 11, 1875, in Michigan, U.S.) was an American politician and judge for the U.S. state of Michigan.
Longyear was born in Shandaken, New York, on October 22, 1820, the son of Petrus Longyear (also known as Peter Longyear, 1784–1845), of Dutch heritage, and Jerusha Longyear (née Jerusha Stevens), of English heritage. The Longyears were descendants of Jacob Longyear, Sr. (also known as Jacob Langjaer), an 18th-century immigrant to New York from Holland. He had at least one sibling, a brother Ephraim (1827-1889). Their family lived on a farm near Esopus Creek and later, in Stanford and Sidney Plains in Delaware County before ultimately moving to Alaiedon Township in Michigan to live on a farm there in 1843.
He pursued classical studies in the Lima Academy of Lima, New York, and taught school for several years. In 1844, he moved to Mason, Michigan, where he taught school and studied law. He was admitted to the Ingham County bar in 1846. The following year, he moved to Lansing, Michigan, and engaged in the practice of law.
Longyear was elected as a Republican from Michigan's 3rd congressional district to the 38th and 39th United States Congresses, serving from March 4, 1863, to March 3, 1867. He served as chairman of the Committee on Expenditures on Public Buildings during his term in Congress. He was not a candidate for re-nomination in 1866. He was delegate to the Loyalist Convention at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1866 and to the Michigan State constitutional convention in 1867.
On February 7, 1870, Longyear was appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant to serve as judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. In 1871, he moved to Detroit, where he died in 1875. He was interred in Mount Hope Cemetery, Lansing, Michigan.
Longyear was married to Harriet Munro, with whom he had at least four children: John Munro Longyear, Sr., Dr. Howard Longyear, James Longyear, and Ida Stevens Longyear (1859–1947). Longyear is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Lansing, Michigan, alongside Harriet and Ida.John W. Moon
John Wesley Moon (January 18, 1836 – April 5, 1898) was a politician from the U.S. state of Michigan.
Moon was born in Wayne County, Michigan, near Ypsilanti, and attended the common schools. As a youth, he worked on a farm and attended school during the winter. In 1852, he moved to Jackson County and left there in the fall of 1854 to work in lumber camps and saw mills on the Flat River in central Michigan. In the spring of 1856, he settled in Muskegon County, Michigan and engaged in the manufacture of lumber and in banking. He was a partner in the firm of A.V. Mann & Co., which established a mill at Lakeside (now a part of the city of Muskegon). He held the offices of supervisor, township treasurer, and president of the then village of Muskegon.
He served in the Michigan Senate in 1885, from the 23rd district, and in 1887, from the 21st district. Also in 1887, he was elected president of the Muskegon Savings Bank. A few years later, in 1891, he became a member of the board of education of Muskegon.
In 1892, Moon was elected as a Republican from Michigan's 9th congressional district to the 53rd Congress, defeating incumbent Democrat Harrison H. Wheeler. Moon served from March 4, 1893 to March 3, 1895 and was not a candidate for re-nomination in 1894.
After leaving Congress, John W. Moon resumed his former business activities. He died in Muskegon and is interred there at Evergreen Cemetery.John W. Stone
John Wesley Stone (July 18, 1838 – March 24, 1922) was a politician and judge from the U.S. state of Michigan.
Stone was born in Wadsworth, Ohio and attended the public schools and Spencer Academy in Spencer, Ohio. He moved to Allegan County, Michigan in 1856 and was elected county clerk in 1860. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in January 1862 and was reelected county clerk the same year. He served as prosecuting attorney from 1864 to 1870 and village president of Allegan in 1872. He also served as circuit judge of the twentieth judicial circuit of Michigan from April 1873 until his resignation on November 1, 1874. He then moved to Grand Rapids where he practiced law.
Stone was elected as a Republican from Michigan's 5th congressional district to the 45th and 46th Congresses, serving from March 4, 1877 to March 3, 1881. He was not a candidate for re-nomination in 1880.
Stone was appointed by U.S. President Chester A. Arthur as United States Attorney of the District Court for the Western District of Michigan in 1882, serving until 1886. He moved to Houghton, Michigan in 1887 and resumed the practice of law. He was elected circuit judge of the twenty-fifth Michigan circuit in April 1890 and served until December 31, 1909. He was elected justice of the Michigan Supreme Court in April 1909 for the term ending December 31, 1917. He was reelected in 1916 and served until his death in Lansing, Michigan on in March 1922. Stone is interred in Park Cemetery, Marquette, Michigan.John Wesley (guitarist)
John Wesley, also known as Wes Dearth (born John Wesley Dearth, III in June 1962) is an American singer, songwriter and guitar player. John Wesley's professional music career began in the early 1980s in the Tampa, Florida area where he founded 1991 Southwestern Music Conference's showcase act Autodrive along with drummer/producer Mark Prator. The following year, Wesley embarked on a solo career and became the opening act for British rockers Marillion on seven consecutive tour legs around the world, especially North and South America, the UK and Europe.
In 1998, Wesley and ex-White Lion frontman Mike Tramp were the opening act for the Peter Frampton/Lynyrd Skynyrd tour. Following this was several world tours with Marillion's former singer Fish. In 2001, John Wesley was the primary co-writer of Fish’s Fellini Days album. He has performed as sideman, guitarist/vocalist for Porcupine Tree, during the In Absentia, Deadwing, Fear of a Blank Planet and The Incident world tours.
In 2005, Wesley produced and recorded his fifth studio release, Shiver. The album was co-produced by drummer and co-owner of his Tampa, Florida recording studio, RedRoom Recorders, Inc., Mark Prator, and mixed by Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree. In 2011, Wesley partnered with UK native Dean Tidey (live guitarist with Feeder), to produce his EP, The Lilypad Suite. Wesley’s sixth full-length studio album, Disconnect, was released in 2014.
On August 24, 2007, Wesley announced that he was making his back catalog of solo material available for free download on his website.
In March 2013, Wesley performed with Sound of Contact as their live guitarist for the Marillion Weekend concert in Montreal, Quebec. He then joined the band for their European tour in May 2013 and was a part of two Sound of Contact music videos produced in relation to the band's debut album, Dimensionaut.
Other musicians Wesley has worked beside include Sean Malone, Steve Hogarth and Steve Rothery. He has also performed as an occasional fill-in bassist and lead guitarist for Florida-based group Sister Hazel.
In 2018, Wesley performed lead vocals with international artists ÚMÆ on their debut album titled Lost in the View, which was released on January 3rd, 2019. Guest performers on this project also include Adam Holzman (Steven Wilson, Miles Davis) and Conner Green (Haken).
Studio and touring personnel for the John Wesley band:
John Wesley - Lead guitar and vocals
Patrick Bettison - Bass
Mark Prator - Drums and Percussion
Dean Tidey - GuitarJohn Wesley Davis
John Wesley Davis (April 16, 1799 – August 22, 1859) was an American physician and Democratic politician, active in the mid-1800s. He is best known for serving as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Governor of the Oregon Territory, and as a four-time member of the Indiana state legislature.John Wesley Hardin
John Wesley Hardin (May 26, 1853 – August 19, 1895) was an American Old West outlaw, gunfighter, and controversial folk icon. The son of a Methodist preacher, Hardin got into trouble with the law from an early age. He killed his first man at age 14, he claimed in self-defense.
Pursued by lawmen for most of his life, he was sentenced in 1877 at age 24 to 25 years in prison for murder. When he was sentenced, Hardin claimed to have killed 42 men but contemporary newspapers accounts attributed only 27 deaths to him. While in prison, Hardin studied law and wrote an autobiography. He was well known for wildly exaggerating or completely making up stories about his life. He claimed credit for many murders that cannot be corroborated.Within a year of his release in 1894, Hardin was killed by John Selman in an El Paso saloon.John Wesley Harding (album)
John Wesley Harding is the eighth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on December 27, 1967, by Columbia Records. Produced by Bob Johnston, the album marked Dylan's return to semi-acoustic instrumentation and folk-influenced songwriting after three albums of lyrically abstract, blues-indebted rock music. John Wesley Harding shares many stylistic threads with, and was recorded around the same time as, the prolific series of home recording sessions with the Band, partly released in 1975 as The Basement Tapes, and released in complete form in 2014 as The Bootleg Series Vol. 11: The Basement Tapes Complete.
John Wesley Harding was exceptionally well received by critics and sold well, reaching No. 2 on the U.S. charts and topping the UK charts. The commercial performance was considered remarkable considering that Dylan had kept Columbia from releasing the album with much promotion or publicity. Less than three months after its release, John Wesley Harding was certified gold by the RIAA. "All Along the Watchtower" became one of his most popular songs after Jimi Hendrix's rendition was released in the autumn of 1968.
The album was included in Robert Christgau's "Basic Record Library" of 1950s and 1960s recordings, published in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981). In 2003, it was ranked No. 301 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, moving to 303 in the 2012 version of that list.The album is named after Texas outlaw John Wesley Hardin, whose name was misspelled.John Wesley Powell
John Wesley Powell (March 24, 1834 – September 23, 1902) was a U.S. soldier, geologist, explorer of the American West, professor at Illinois Wesleyan University, and director of major scientific and cultural institutions. He is famous for the 1869 Powell Geographic Expedition, a three-month river trip down the Green and Colorado rivers, including the first official U.S. government-sponsored passage through the Grand Canyon.
Powell served as second director of the U.S. Geological Survey (1881–1894) and proposed, for development of the arid West, policies that were prescient for his accurate evaluation of conditions. He became the first director of the Bureau of Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution during his service as director of the U.S. Geological Survey, where he supported linguistic and sociological research and publications.John Wesley Ryles
John Wesley Ryles (born December 2, 1950) is an American country music artist. Ryles recorded a string of hit country songs, beginning in 1968 when he was still a teenager, and continuing through the 1980s. He no longer records as a headline artist but remains active in the music industry as a session musician.John Wesley Shipp
John Wesley Shipp (born January 22, 1955) is an American actor known for his various television roles. He played the lead Barry Allen on CBS's superhero series The Flash from 1990 to 1991, and Mitch Leery, the title character's father, on the drama series Dawson's Creek from 1998 to 2001. Shipp has also played several roles in daytime soap operas including Kelly Nelson on Guiding Light from 1980 to 1984, and Douglas Cummings on As the World Turns from 1985 to 1986 (which earned him his first Daytime Emmy Award). He portrays both Barry Allen's father, Henry Allen, Jay Garrick/Flash and Earth-90 Barry Allen/Flash on the current The Flash series on The CW network.Methodism
Methodism, also known as the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations of Protestant Christianity which derive their inspiration from the life and teachings of John Wesley. George Whitefield and John's brother Charles Wesley were also significant early leaders in the movement. It originated as a revival movement within the 18th-century Church of England and became a separate denomination after Wesley's death. The movement spread throughout the British Empire, the United States, and beyond because of vigorous missionary work, today claiming approximately 80 million adherents worldwide.Wesley's theology focused on sanctification and the effect of faith on the character of a Christian. Distinguishing Methodist doctrines include the new birth, an assurance of salvation, imparted righteousness, the possibility of perfection in love, the works of piety, and the primacy of Scripture. Most Methodists teach that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for all of humanity and that salvation is available for all; in theology, this view is known as Arminianism. This teaching rejects the Calvinist position that God has pre-ordained the salvation of a select group of people. However, Whitefield and several other early leaders of the movement were considered Calvinistic Methodists and held to the Calvinist position. Methodism emphasises charity and support for the sick, the poor, and the afflicted through the works of mercy. These ideals are put into practice by the establishment of hospitals, orphanages, soup kitchens, and schools to follow Christ's command to spread the gospel and serve all people.The movement has a wide variety of forms of worship, ranging from high church to low church in liturgical usage. Denominations that descend from the British Methodist tradition are generally less ritualistic, while American Methodism is more so, the United Methodist Church in particular. Methodism is known for its rich musical tradition, and Charles Wesley was instrumental in writing much of the hymnody of the Methodist Church.Early Methodists were drawn from all levels of society, including the aristocracy, but the Methodist preachers took the message to labourers and criminals who tended to be left outside organised religion at that time. In Britain, the Methodist Church had a major effect in the early decades of the developing working class (1760–1820). In the United States, it became the religion of many slaves who later formed black churches in the Methodist tradition.Statue of John Wesley, Shoreditch
The statue of John Wesley is an outdoor 1891 sculpture of the Anglican minister and theologian of the same name by J. Adams Acton, installed outside Wesley's Chapel, along City Road, in Shoreditch, London, United Kingdom. The statue is Grade II-listed.Statue of John Wesley, St Paul's Churchyard
The statue of John Wesley, St Paul's Churchyard is an outdoor bronze sculpture depicting the theologian, cleric and co-founder of the religious movement known as Methodism, John Wesley. The statue is located northwest corner of St Paul's Churchyard, London, England, and was erected in 1988. It was cast from a sculpture created by Samuel Manning and his son between 1825 and 1849.On 24 to 26 May, 1738, Wesley worshipped in the nearby Chancel of the Cathedral. The statue is 5 foot 1 inches high, Wesley's height in life, and depicts him wearing a cassock and holding a bible in his left hand. An inscription on the front of the plinth reads:
By Grace ye are saved through Faith
John Wesley, Father of Methodism, 1703–1791, priest, poet, teacher of the Faith.
On the rear of the plinth is a plaque reading 'Property of Aldersgate Trustees of the Methodist Church – 17 September 1988'.Samuel Manning's original sculpture was in plaster and was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1825. After Manning the Elder's death, his son recreated the sculpture in marble, and it is now situated in the Methodist Central Hall, Westminster.Texas Ranger Division
The Texas Ranger Division, commonly called the Texas Rangers, is a U.S statewide investigative law enforcement agency with statewide jurisdiction in Texas, based in the capital city of Austin. Over the years, the Texas Rangers have investigated crimes ranging from murder to political corruption, acted in riot control and as detectives, protected the governor of Texas, tracked down fugitives, and functioned as a paramilitary force at the service of both the Republic (1836–1845) and the state of Texas.
The Texas Rangers were unofficially created by Stephen F. Austin in a call-to-arms written in 1823 and were first headed by Captain Morris. After a decade, on August 10, 1835, Daniel Parker introduced a resolution to the Permanent Council creating a body of rangers to protect the border. The unit was dissolved by the federal authorities during the post–Civil War Reconstruction Era, but was quickly reformed upon the reinstitution of home government. Since 1935, the organization has been a division of the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS); it fulfills the role of Texas' state bureau of investigation. As of 2015, there are 162 commissioned members of the Ranger force.The Rangers have taken part in many of the most important events of Texas history, such as stopping the assassination of presidents William Howard Taft and Porfirio Díaz in El Paso, Texas, and in some of the best-known criminal cases in the history of the Old West, such as those of gunfighter John Wesley Hardin, bank robber Sam Bass, and outlaws Bonnie and Clyde. Scores of books have been written about the Rangers, from well-researched works of nonfiction to pulp novels and other such fiction, making the Rangers significant participants in the mythology of the Wild West. The Lone Ranger, perhaps the best-known example of a Texas Ranger–derived fictional character, draws his alias from having once been a Texas Ranger. Other well-known examples include the several Texas Ranger roles portrayed by Chuck Norris.
During their mixed history, a distinct Ranger tradition has evolved; their cultural significance to Texians and later Texans is such that they are legally protected against disbandment. There is a museum dedicated to the Texas Rangers in Waco, Texas.Wesleyanism
Wesleyanism, or Wesleyan theology, is a movement of Protestant Christians who seek to follow the "methods" or theology of the eighteenth-century evangelical reformers John Wesley and his brother Charles Wesley. More broadly, it refers to the theological system inferred from the various sermons, theological treatises, letters, journals, diaries, hymns, and other spiritual writings of the Wesleys and their contemporary coadjutors such as John William Fletcher.
Wesleyanism, manifest today in Methodist and Holiness churches, is named for its founders, the Wesleys. In 1736, these two brothers traveled to the Georgia colony in America as missionaries for the Church of England; they left rather disheartened at what they saw. Both of them subsequently had "religious experiences," especially John in 1738, being greatly influenced by the Moravian Christians. They began to organize a renewal movement within the Church of England to focus on personal faith and holiness. John Wesley took Protestant churches to task over the nature of sanctification, the process by which a believer is conformed to the image of Christ, emphasizing New Testament teachings regarding the work of God and the believer in sanctification. The movement did well within the Church of England in Britain, but when the movement crossed the ocean into America, it took on a form of its own, finally being established as the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1784. The Wesleyan churches are similar to Anglicanism (in Church government and liturgical practices), yet have added a strong emphasis on personal faith and personal experience.
At its heart, the theology of John Wesley stressed the life of Christian holiness: to love God with all one’s heart, mind, soul and strength and to love one’s neighbour as oneself. See also Ministry of Jesus. Wesley’s teaching also stressed experiential religion and moral responsibility.
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