Spiritual Classics— John Wesley (1703-1791). What could he possibly have meant that we are to “go on to perfection”? Wesley lived through an amazing time in history. The “Enlightenment” was in full swing throughout his lifetime. The Colonies in the New World would declare and fight for their independence from England and the French would have a revolution of their own. Isaac Newton solidified the heliocentric world view and gave us the calculus. In every aspect of life—philosophy, industry, cosmology and politics, the Western World was in tremendous flux.
Into this maelstrom of creativity stepped the Wesley Brothers John and Charles. They received their early education from their mother, Susanna. Oxford educated and ordained in the Church of England, John was a seeker after truth if ever there was one. He refused to be confined to the pulpits of established churches and went instead to the country coal mines and the streets of the cities. He spoke to the working class and poor. He inspired many a listener both with his message and with the method by which he lived his life, thus earning the title “Methodist” – an expression of ridicule which Wesley took as a badge of honor.
Today’s message touches on two of the several themes central to Wesley’s teaching: Christian Perfection and the Means of Grace as experienced in seeker and believer alike. Listen up—we can learn much from Methodism’s father and founder!
Message: John Wesley: Perfection & Grace
A good online resource for John Wesley can be found here.
Here is Wesley’s Sermon: A Plain Account of Christian Perfection.