“Never dream of forcing men into the ways of God. Think yourself, and let think. Use no constraint in matters of religion. Even those who are farthest out of the way never compel to come in by any other means than reason, truth, and love.”
~ The Works of John Wesley
Anglican cleric and Christian theologian John Wesley was born on this day in 1703.
Along with his brother Charles, John Wesley is credited with the founding of the Methodist movement. Methodism became a successful evangelical movement in Britain and America.
Wesley’s Aldersgate experience occurred on May 24, 1738 about which he wrote:
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 the leader 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 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.
Wesley was a strong opponent of slavery. He was a friend of both John Newton and William Wilberforce who were instrumental in the abolishing of slavery in Great Britain.
Wesley died on March 2, 1791. His last words were reported to be “The best of all, God is with us.”