Talk:John Wesley

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Cscr-former.svg John Wesley is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
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Wesley's Denominational Affiliation[edit]

Wouldn't it be more correct to list Wesley's Religion in the sidebox as Christian (Church of England) instead of as Methodist? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wgkelley (talkcontribs) 13:38, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

No it wouldn't. He was an Anglican at first but was never convinced of his own salvation until he fell out with them. He was considered a Methodist in his own time. - Marcus Constantine —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.177.0.70 (talk) 15:42, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

He remained ordained within the Church of England; his "Methodist Movement" was considered a subset of the Anglican Church until long after Wesley's death. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 162.84.179.26 (talk) 20:48, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Supernatural[edit]

Why hasn't anyone mentioned the supernatural aspect of Wesley's ministry?


Date[edit]

Is his date of birth in New Style (Gregorian) calendar?



NPOV[edit]

This is not written from NPOV.

---

I agree with the above anonymous comment. Reads like a Hagiography. --Pjacobi 09:42, 2005 Jun 17 (UTC)

If you see NPOV, then be specific. I guess you guys think that anything that doesn't contain an indictment is NPOV or hagiography. Matter of fact, Welsey was indeed saintly. (He was certainly a nicer person than Luther or Calvin or the founder of his mother church, Henry VIII.) I have never read or heard anything about him, in all the literature, which significantly varies from the assessment in the article. Of course, if one is so inclined, one can infer many things — stubbornness, self-righteousness, intolerance, etc. — from the article. Actually, the article is one of the best, as a capsule biogrpahy, that I have ever read and is an outstanding contribution to Wikipedia. — J M Rice 17:39, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I didn't want to imply that there is a dark spot in his life, which isn't covered. It's the overall tone of the article, and some comments like: Wesley's call to personal and social holiness continues to challenge Christians who struggle to discern what it means to participate in the Kingdom of God. --Pjacobi 21:39, 2005 Jun 18 (UTC)


'his means and plans were such as Providence indicated'

That certainly isnt NPOV, directly implies the existence of Providence.

129.125.103.83 19:20, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

I would agree that this isn't neutral, but I don't think I should edit it. I'm a fan of Wesley, and I'd probably make it worse. Zaporozhian (talk) 04:30, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

I agree that this is not neutral, either in terms of presentation of providence or presentation of Wesley's life. What about this issue with the woman in America? And for J.M. Rice, his being "saintly" is not a "matter of fact" - it is a matter of opinion. Should this be edited? Well, perhaps a more balanced discussion of the pros and cons of Wesley and his ministry would be useful to readers. Also, Wikipedia should not be used to imply the existence (or lack thereof) of "providence". Rsalisb5 (talk) 11:11, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Areas for improvement[edit]

I put material into the lead to make it a stronger FAC. My own interest is on 18th c. British literary history and philology, so I have a bias that way, but I was raised Methodist and am the grandson of a circuit rider. There are quite a few things, good and bad, missing that could help the article.

  1. Wesley and the controversy of "enthusiasm": Once the field preaching began, the controversy followed sharply. Whitefield is one thing, but when he had the sponsorship of an Establishment figure like Wesley, the doors of the CoE were opened to what we would now call charismatic preaching. One bishop (I'll research the quote, if needed) wrote to Wesley, "Sir, pretending to extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit is a monstrous thing." The context here is vital: evangelicals and Low Churchmen were associated with the Cromwellian forces in society still.
  2. Wesley and social reform: The Idea of the Penitentiary (F. Bogel, I think) has a good long section about Methodist prison reformers being instrumental in the development of the penitentiary (as opposed to the jail), and the transformation from the old model of the prison (a place where one waited for sentence to be carried out) to the new (a place where the sentence was carried out) was Methodist before utilitarian. (Penance-tentiary to penitentiary; by enforcing regularity on the men, one would calm their minds and instill order, and one could make their ordered activities reflect penance.)== Areas for improvement ==

I put material into the lead to make it a stronger FAC. My own interest is on 18th c. British literary history and philology, so I have a bias that way, but I was raised Methodist and am the grandson of a circuit rider. There are quite a few things, good and bad, missing that could help the article.

  1. Wesley and the controversy of "enthusiasm": Once the field preaching began, the controversy followed sharply. Whitefield is one thing, but when he had the sponsorship of an Establishment figure like Wesley, the doors of the CoE were opened to what we would now call charismatic preaching. One bishop (I'll research the quote, if needed) wrote to Wesley, "Sir, pretending to extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit is a monstrous thing." The context here is vital: evangelicals and Low Churchmen were associated with the Cromwellian forces in society still.
  2. Wesley and social reform: The Idea of the Penitentiary (F. Bogel, I think) has a good long section about Methodist prison reformers being instrumental in the development of the penitentiary (as opposed to the jail), and the transformation from the old model of the prison (a place where one waited for sentence to be carried out) to the new (a place where the sentence was carried out) was Methodist before utilitarian. (Penance-tentiary to penitentiary; by enforcing regularity on the men, one would calm their minds and instill order, and one could make their ordered activities reflect penance.)
  3. Wesley and the doctrine of grace: From the point of view of history of ideas, Wesley's theology is an important effort at bridging the gap between Luther's notion of grace and the older Roman Catholic (and Anglican) notion of grace. He wanted to find a way that could avoid the severity of Ronald Knox and Calvin, and yet he wanted it to allow perserverence of the saints. I.e. he was filling a need he felt in the Anglican doctrine.
  4. Wesley and psychology: Hartley had been one of the first to argue that the simuli one had influenced the organism of the brain. Well, Wesley was erudite, and he knew these theories. Although contemporary Methodists play all this down considerably, the first noticeable characteristic of the movement was its emphasis on regularity and strict method in ordinary practice.

There are many other things to say as well. Whether the present article is hagiographic or not, I won't say, but I will say that it's somewhat incomplete in comparison to what could be said about his general context. Geogre 04:20, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  1. Wesley and the doctrine of grace: From the point of view of history of ideas, Wesley's theology is an important effort at bridging the gap between Luther's notion of grace and the older Roman Catholic (and Anglican) notion of grace. He wanted to find a way that could avoid the severity of Ronald Knox and Calvin, and yet he wanted it to allow perserverence of the saints. I.e. he was filling a need he felt in the Anglican doctrine.
  2. Wesley and psychology: Hartley had been one of the first to argue that the simuli one had influenced the organism of the brain. Well, Wesley was erudite, and he knew these theories. Although contemporary Methodists play all this down considerably, the first noticeable characteristic of the movement was its emphasis on regularity and strict method in ordinary practice.

There are many other things to say as well. Whether the present article is hagiographic or not, I won't say, but I will say that it's somewhat incomplete in comparison to what could be said about his general context. Geogre 04:20, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The lead is too long - it should only be 3 or 4 shorter paragraphs. Some terms should be defined earlier in the article - for people who are not familiar with religious history, the terms of Arminianism and Calvinism may not mean much. Why were they important? What did the differing views say about human nature and man's capacity?--Parkwells (talk) 20:46, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Family History (dubious)[edit]

"The Wesleys were of ancient Anglo-Saxons|Anglo-Saxon lineage, the family history being traced backward to the time of Athelstan, when Guy Wesley, or Wellesley, was created a thegn|thane." I removed this from the article because, I am sorry to say, it is impossible. HeartofaDog 21:23, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

favor?[edit]

I have just added a new section to Judaism and Christianity on "love." It is just a stub of a section, hopefully others will add more about the Jewish notion. But I know that my characterization of the Christian notion is at best wildly incomplete. Perhaps among the contributors to this page there are some who could go over it and add whatever additional o, the Christian point of view. I also added a long quote from Maimonides to the section on Heaven and Hell; in fact, I did a rewrite a week or two ago. I know the Jewish position is well-represented but again I am concerned that in the process the Christian view may appear misrepresented or at least underrepresented. So, I'd be grateful if someone checked and made sure the Christian view(s) are accurately and sufficiently represented. Thanks, Slrubenstein | Talk 20:47, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Influence in the UK[edit]

Found this reference to him preaching in a local farm house, but have a feeling its addition is probably unnecessary, so posted it here for an editor with more time to review! EVOCATIVEINTRIGUE TALKTOME | EMAILME | IMPROVEME 15:26, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Enthusiasm and Persecution[edit]

There is no mention of his being charged with enthusiasm and why this was done. Nor any mention of his preaching against his idea of enthusiasm. Also, for one who has read his journal, the section on persecution seems very thin.--Niceguy2all 04:30, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Pronunciation[edit]

Hi, I'm a member of the Hebrew Wiki, and I would like to translate this article. If anyone can tell me, how you pronounce Wesley (Wesli, Wizli, or Wisli), I'd be grateful.

Thank you. Elizabeth

I think your first choice would be the closest. Pollinator 02:15, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Thank you, pollinator Elizabeth

Vowels would probably be Segol and hireq yod 64.229.11.224 21:18, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Glossary Appropriate?[edit]

Over a number of years I published to a daily email subscription list vignettes and anecdotes about John Wesley. At one time there were over 1200 subscribers. The project was named "Days of Wesley".

For some time I have been converting those emails into glossary-like entries with a broad range of topics: all the major topics of JW's life are covered, plus many other not so well known topics which were culled from reading his entire journal and letters. Things like, JWs problems with women, his times of depression and doubt, his founding of credit unions, pharmacy dispensaries, writing and dispensing books on subjects of all sorts, there is a large section on the turbulence (persecution) of the 1740s, his problems with the Moravians . . . Truly the list goes on and on. I have currently compiled over 400 entries and see the collection growing to 800 or so before it is finished.

My question is "Is a glossary-like style of information" appropriate for an encyclopedic publication? (Currently there is an alphabetical list of all topics which link to the corresponding article.) Or, is there some other project that might better serve as a host for this material?

Conradarch 00:42, 27 March 2007 (UTC)Conrad Archer

The nature of an encyclopedia is more of a summary than a collection of vignettes or a glossary (see WP:NOT), and so while an external link to a website with this material would be welcome under WP:EL, I don't think including here in its entirety is appropriate. However, some of the more important of these entries could certainly find a place in the article, particularly if they come with source citations. You might try Wikiquote or Wikisource if it is primarily source material. --Flex (talk|contribs) 01:21, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Date of Wesley's Conversion?[edit]

The article claims

Leading Wesley scholars point to 1725 as the date of Wesley's conversion.

However, Wesley himself relates this[1]:

In my return to England, January, 1738, being in imminent danger of death, and very uneasy on that account, I was strongly convinced that the cause of that uneasiness was unbelief, and that the gaining a true, living faith was the one thing needful for me. But still I fixed not this faith on its right object: I meant only faith in God, not faith in or through Christ. Again, I knew not that I was wholly void of this faith; but only thought I had not enough of it. So that when Peter Bohler, whom God prepared for me as soon as I came to London, affirmed of true faith in Christ, (which is but one,) that it had those two fruits inseparably attending it, “dominion over sin, and constant peace from a sense of forgiveness,” I was quite amazed, and looked upon it as a new gospel...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.

So it could be reasonably argued that Wesley himself would date his conversion from 1738. Thoughts? jrcagle 21:00, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

I do not know if your source is reliable but if it is reliable then it should be changed. Do not edit the article until you get more oppinions though:) Shalom:)--James, La gloria è a dio 19:07, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
It's probably more accurate to say that the date of Wesley's conversion is disputed by scholars, some of whom would dispute the use of the term "conversion" at all. Aldersgate certainly figures prominently in the journal entries of winter 1738, when Wesley was having a crisis of faith and heavily under Moravian influence, but Wesley never refers to the experience again in any of his writings--which are fairly vast. As late as 1988 (Aldersgate's 200th anniversary), the significance of Aldersgate was discussed and disputed in a major scholarly conference at the Candler School of Theology of Emory University, with at least one scholar asserting that it had no meaning for Wesley after the event itself. For what it's worth... Smontg2 (talk) 05:04, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

If you read the journal in its entirity, you'll find that Wesley struggled with the nature of conversion up until Aldersgate. He knew that he had violated God's law and that Christ had died for sins. However, he never deduced that Christ had died for his sins and accepted that until Aldersgate. No Wesley scholar would say differently - it is not disputed. - Marcus Constantine —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.177.0.70 (talk) 15:41, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Demonstrably untrue (no offense intended). Note what I said above: at least one scholar at a major conference of Emory University in 1988 disputed that it had any relevance whatsoever to Wesley after the event itself--an assertion supported by the fact that Wesley never again mentioned it. Also see the 1990 text Aldersgate Reconsidered, edited by Randy Maddox, for a range of views.Smontg2 (talk) 20:54, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
The experience in Aldersgate occurred on May 24, 1738. Here is what John Wesley himself said of that experience (in a letter to his brother Samuel): "By a Christian, I mean one who so believes in Christ as that sin hath no more dominion over him; and in this obvious sense of the word I was not a Christian till May 24th last past." (Quoted from "Age to Age, A Living Witness," by Leslie Ray Marston, page 51) It does seem that we should take John Wesley's word over that of a scholar 250 years later. Whether or not he ever referenced it again is irrelevant. These are his words.--Rhomphaia (talk) 22:58, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
One further note on the Aldersgate experience. Wesley clearly counted that moment as the "start" of his spiritual walk and where he finally gained understanding of what real Christian salvation was. Note again that Aldersgate was in 1738. 28 years later he said this, ""I believe justification by faith alone as much as I believe there is a God…. I have never varied from it, no, not an hair's breadth from 1738 to this day." Clearly he was marking 1738 as the real beginning of his Christian ministry, as he did not consider any variations in his theology on justification by faith prior to that date (and remember, John was 35 years old in 1738, and prior to this, his views on justification had varied from time to time) to count. As far as he was concerned, solidifying his views on justification from that day forward counted as "never varied." It is clear that John considered his solidification as a Christian to have occured in 1738. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 97.84.177.239 (talk) 22:45, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Tyerman reference[edit]

There is a mention of Wesley's biographer, Tyerman, but there is no reference attached to the Charterhouse experience. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.120.22.230 (talk) 05:25, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

I've searched for awhile, and have found nothing that corroborates that underwear eating thing (???) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 162.84.179.26 (talk) 20:36, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Proposed Methodist work group[edit]

There is now a proposal for a WikiProject group, possibly initially a subproject of Wikipedia:WikiProject Christianity, to deal with articles relating to the Methodist churches at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals#Methodism. Anyone interested in taking part in such a group should indicate their interest there. Thank you. John Carter (talk) 15:22, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Little gremlin?[edit]

I cannot find a single source for this, and one isn't cited in the article. (In the final section, this article asserts using rather awkward grammatical construction that Wesley is sometimes called "the little gremlin"). I've checked the 'Net and my own sources and can't find it. I believe this comment should be deleted. Obviously this article has a number of issues, but that one seems to be to be egregious. Smontg2 (talk) 05:08, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Language and context[edit]

I think editors working on this article particularly need to think not only of how the sources state ideas, but how to explain them in current terms to lay readers. There is little background for the conditions against which Methodism arose - why did it start? What problems was it supposed to deal with? What was the established church like? Who was left out, or who left themselves out? In the US, Methodists and Baptists were involved in two Great Awakenings in New England and the South. How did the English movement relate to this? Why were the ideas of God and man important? This article will be very difficult as it is unless someone already has a good grounding in religious history.--Parkwells (talk) 22:38, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

"Wesley returned to England..."[edit]

The section The beginning of the revival opens with "Wesley returned to England..." but is not preceded by mention of his departure. I have no idea what the correct history is, but the flow of the article should be improved. (by the way, it was Occuli who noticed this). --Scray (talk) 22:44, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

First printed appearance of "agree to disagree"[edit]

I was trying to find the origin of the phrase "agree to disagree" and several sources led me to John Wesley. In his 1770 sermon On the Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield, he says "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..." Is this worth putting in the article? Binksternet (talk) 02:46, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Okay, no comments, no takers, no opposition; I'm putting it in. Binksternet (talk) 23:21, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

New files[edit]

Recently the files below were uploaded and they appear to be relevant to this article and not currently used by it. If you're interested and think they would be a useful addition, please feel free to include any of them.

Dcoetzee 01:26, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Unbelievable nonsense[edit]

In the "Mission in Georgia" section, the following absurd and entirely incomprehensible passage appears (incomprehensible both in terms of (a) are there any rational human beings on the face of the earth that actually utter such biassed and prejudiced and entirely "up themselves" observations??, and (b) the language is such that no meaning can be motivated by any native-speaker of English):

"Wesley's strict methodology when it came to teaching clashed with the relatively unlearned nature of the natives and the lowly debtors that populated the colony."

Am I the only person on the face of the earth for which this sentence is entirely meaningless?? Please write whatever it might be that you want to say in coherent English, or remove this elitist rubbish altogether.129.94.30.7 (talk) 03:12, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Again, this quoted statement points to the lack of NPOV in this article. I think the whole article needs cleaning up (hopefully by a Wesley scholar). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rsalisb5 (talkcontribs) 11:16, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

    • edit by anonymous "HOLY MOLEY ITS EGYPT FLYING ON A HAMIC" is not John Wesley's weight. And why would we care, in any case, about his weight? I can't change that officious looking "box" without an account. Will someone please remove this rubbish? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.68.91.229 (talk) 02:07, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

John Wesley's house, City Road[edit]

Why are all the windows on the side bricked up? Does anyone else think this is odd? I think a lot of people would wonder about that when seeing the photo. Is there a story/reason behind it? --98.232.181.201 (talk) 20:36, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

There are two possible reasons. One is that it was the result of the window tax (look up Window Tax). Several older British houses have bricked up windows to save on the tax. The second is that this is the back of the house. The photograph is taken from the middle of the burial ground at the rear of Wesley's Chapel, probably just in front of Wesley's grave.DigbyJames (talk) 23:48, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Net Worth[edit]

He was worth 30 modern dollars when he died? Is this serious? --AirLiner (talk) 21:38, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Recent additions about the persecution of Methodists in the Caribbean[edit]

I have reverted recent additions by User:Caribbean historian. This material may be well suited to an article such as Methodism#Caribbean but is not suited to the section in this article which is about persecution of Wesley himself. Jezhotwells (talk) 00:45, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps you could create an article titled Methodism in the Caribbean or transfer the information to the Methodism article under the Caribbean section rather than deleting it permanently? I hope this helps. With regards, AnupamTalk 01:05, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Well it is still available in the edit history. I have invited the editor User:Caribbean historian to this discussion. It would of course need to be correctly sourced. Jezhotwells (talk) 01:12, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Blessed Virgin Mary[edit]

I think it should be mentioned that Wesley had beliefs that most members of the Methodist churches today reject, specifically the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. --Willthacheerleader18 (talk) 00:46, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

New editnotice[edit]

An edit notice has been created, notifying users that British English is to be used on this article. See here and the discussion page here -- Peter Talk page 21:48, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Works Section[edit]

I added the works section, and I included a couple of his more unusual works on electricity. It was the period in history when electrostatic machines were just being invented. I have read both, and his fresh take on the origin and applications of electricity is refreshing. Hope you guys can fill up the rest of what looks like a massive section. 4.242.237.46 (talk) 00:16, 5 September 2012 (UTC)