Tag Archives: John Wesley

A Warm Heart

Diane Griffiths / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)


This is my offering for our Circuit Daily Devotions this week.  This is a shortened version, if you want to hear the full version, you can find it here

On Sunday it will be Aldersgate Sunday, commemorating the day John Wesley’s life changed forever.  The day that he had an experience of God that ‘warmed his heart’. You can read more about it here.

This is an account of his day from his diary

Wednesday May 24, 1738.

What occur’d on Wedn. 24, I think best to relate at large, after premising what might make it the better understood.  Let him that cannot receive it, ask of the Father of Lights, that he would give more Light both to him and to me.

I think it was about five this Morning, that I opened my Testament on those words, “There are given unto us exceeding great and precious Promises, even that ye should be partakers in the divine Nature.” 2 Pet. i. 4.  Just as I went out, I open’d it again on those Words, “Thou art not far from the Kingdom of God.”  In the Afternoon I was asked to go to St. Paul’s.  The Anthem was, “Out of the Deep have I call’d unto thee, O Lord: Lord, hear my Voice.  O let thine Ears consider well the Voice of my Complaint.  If thou, Lord, wilt be extreme to mark what is done amiss, O Lord, who may abide it?  But there is Mercy with thee; therefore thou shalt be feared.  O Israel, trust in the Lord: For with the Lord there is Mercy, and with him is plenteous Redemption.  And he shall redeem Israel from all his Sins.”

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 thro’ faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warm’d.  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.

– John Wesley

The Message puts 2 Peter 1:4 like this:

Don’t Put It Off

3-4 Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.

And the part of Luther’s Preface to the Letter of Saint Paul’s Letter to the Romans reads

Faith is a work of God in us, which… makes us completely different people in heart, mind, senses and all our powers…

Translated by Bro Andrew Thornton, St Anselm Abbey

We are going to use a combination of these to guide our time with God as we reflect on what it means for us in our situation.

If you would like a text version of the meditation, you can find it here: 200522


The anthem is Psalm 130. This is a beautiful modern rendition of that Psalm

Book Review of The Making of Methodism by Barrie Tabraham from Epworth Press

John Wesley

Whenever anyone asks me for a basic book on the history of Methodism and John and Charles Wesley, I always point them to this book.  So I thought perhaps I’d give it another read and cover its delights.

My copy is the 1995 version, but there is an updated version available, revised in 2010.

Barrie Tabraham gives us a ‘warts and all’ account of the Wesleys.  He sets out to put John and Charles and their new group firmly in a historical context.  One of the most interesting aspects of the book is the inclusion of primary source material within each chapter – extracts from John’s letters and sermons.

If, like me, you are not very well-versed in the history of the 1700s, it is interesting and helpful to see the historical context in which Methodism emerged.  Tabraham takes us from the background of the political and societal life of the day; through the Wesley’s childhood; the Holy Club at Oxford; John and Charles’ time in Georgia; John’s pivotal moment in Aldersgate Street; how Methodism grew and the movement it became up to John’s death; the fights and divisions after his death; Methodist Union in 1932; and then looking at Methodism since 1932.

The chapters on the history of Methodism are interwoven with three chapters on Wesley’s theology – unpacking his beliefs and exploring such topics as the ‘four pillars’ – scripture, experience, reason and tradition; prevenient grace, justification and sanctification; and the means of grace – baptism and The Lord’s Supper.  So if you ever wondered…  These are very helpful additions and show the fuller picture of the making of Methodism.

Each chapter ends with questions for discussion, if you want to use this book in a group (It may be very useful for Membership Classes), or if you just want to think the questions through by yourself.

There is also a Glossary of Terms used that is helpful for anyone not used to Methodist speak.

The book concludes with a general Guide to Reading and Study – very useful if you are new to this kind of thing and are using this book as part of a study course.

All in all, this is an incredibly useful, if quick trot through, guide to Methodism, how it came to be and the things that shaped continued to shape it .

(This book is part of the Exploring Methodism series, of which there are other volumes if you want to explore Methodism further)