Wesley and his helpers, finding the Anglican churches closed against them, took to preaching in the open air; and this method is still followed, more or less, in the aggressive evangelistic work of all the Methodist Churches.
The theological views of these teachers proved quite incompatible with the Arminianism of Wesley, and a definite breach between them and him took place in 1770.
At the death of Wesley the figures were: 313 preachers, 119 circuits and mission stations, and members.
The intention was to make American Methodism a facsimile of that in England, subject to Wesley and the British Conference-a society and not a Church.
Among the mendicant friars of the 13th century, among the Jansenists, the early Quakers, the converts of Wesley and Whitefield, the persecuted protestants of the Cevennes, the Irvingites.
In reply to the very natural question why the Moravians began their work in England, the answer given by history is that John Wesley, on his voyage to Georgia (1735) met some Moravian emigrants; that on his return he met Peter Boehler, who was on his way to North Carolina; that through Boehler's influence both John and Charles Wesley were "converted" (1738).
A new island rose from the sea, and was at once named " Wesley," but disappeared again.
It seems probable that his parents were among the early converts of Wesley; at any rate, Francis became converted to Methodism in his thirteenth year, and at sixteen became a local preacher.
He was a simple, fluent speaker, and was so successful that in 1767 he was enrolled, by John Wesley himself, as a regular itinerant minister.
In 1772 he was appointed by Wesley "general assistant" in charge of the work in America, and although superseded by an older preacher, Thomas Rankin (1738-1810), in 1773, he remained practically in control.
In 1784 John Wesley, in disregard of the authority of the Established Church, took the radical step of appointing the Rev. Thomas Coke (1747-1814) and Francis Asbury superintendents or "bishops" of the church in the United States.
He was admitted by John Wesley in 1785 into the regular itinerant ministry.
2), Thomas Day (author of Sandford and Merton), Sterne, Warburton, Hutcheson, Beattie, John Wesley, Whitfield, Adam Smith, Millar, Robertson, Dr Johnson, Paley, Gregory, Gilbert Wakefield, Bishop Porteus, Dean Tucker.
JOHN WESLEY (1703-1791), English divine, was born at Epworth Rectory on the 17th of June (O.S.) 1703.
On the duke of Buckingham's nomination, Wesley was for six years a pupil at Charterhouse.
A friend describes Wesley at this time as "a young fellow of the finest classical taste, and the most liberal and manly sentiments."
Up to this time Wesley says he had no notion of inward holiness, but went on "habitually and for the most part very contentedly in some or other known sin, indeed with some intermission and short struggles especially before and after Holy Communion," which he was obliged to attend three times a year.
Wesley s spirit at this time is seen from his sermon on "The Circumcision of the Heart," preached before the university on the 1st of January 1733.
Wesley rose at four, lived on X28 a year and gave away the remainder of his income.
William Law's books produced a great impression on Wesley, and on his advice the young tutor began to read mystic authors, but he saw that their tendency was to make good works appear mean and insipid, and he soon laid them aside.
Wesley had not yet found the key to the heart and conscience of his hearers.
Looking back on these days in 1777, Wesley felt "the Methodists at Oxford were all one body, and, as it were, one soul; zealous for the religion of the Bible, of the Primitive Church, and, in consequence, of the Church of England; as they believed it to come nearer the scriptural and primitive plan than any other national church upon earth."
The calm confidence of their Moravian fellow-passengers amid the Atlantic storms convinced Wesley that he did not possess the faith which casts out fear.
Wesley needed help, for he was beset by difficulties.
Wesley was a stiff High Churchman, who scrupulously followed every detail of the rubrics.
In April 1736 Wesley formed a little society of thirty or forty of the serious members of his congregation.
Wesley put down many severe things against himself on the return voyage, and he saw afterwards that even then he had the faith of a servant though not.
By Baler Wesley was convinced that he lacked" that faith whereby alone we are saved."
Wesley spent some time during the summer of 1738 in visiting the Moravian settlement at Herrnhuth and returned to London on September 16, 1738, with his faith greatly strengthened.
When the churches were closed against him he spoke to the Kingswood colliers in the open air, and after six memorable weeks wrote urging Wesley to come and take up the work.
Wesley was in his friend's congregation on April 1, but says," I could scarcely reconcile myself to this strange way of preaching in the fields ...
Wesley describes this as the third beginning of Methodism.
They found all the world against them, and Wesley advised them to strengthen one another and talk together as often as they could.
This meeting was held in the end of 1739 at the Foundery in Moorfields which Wesley had just secured as a preaching place.
Grave disorders had arisen in the society at Fetter Lane, and on the 25th of July 1740 Wesley withdrew from it.
Wesley saw that here was the very means he needed to watch over his flock.
As the society increased Wesley found it needed "still greater care to separate the precious from the vile."
Wesley issued the rules of the united societies in February 1743.
Wesley had at first to take charge of the contributions, but as they grew larger he appointed stewards to receive the money, to pay debts, and to relieve the needy.
Wesley believed that the grace of God could transform every life that received it.
On his way to Newcastle that year Wesley visited Birstal, where John Nelson, the stone-mason, had already been working.
In the summer Charles Wesley visited Wednesbury, Leeds and Newcastle.
In 1743 Wesley secured a west-end centre at West Street, Seven Dials, which for fifty years had a wonderful history.
In August 1747 Wesley paid his first visit to Ireland, where he had such success that he gave more than six years of his life to the country and crossed the Irish Channel forty-two times.
Such extension of his field would have been impossible had not Wesley been helped by a heroic band of preachers.
Wesley says: "Joseph Humphreys was the first lay preacher that assisted me in England, in the year 1738."
That was probably help in the Fetter Lane Society, for Wesley then had no preaching place of his own.
Wesley hurried to London to check this irregularity, but his mother urged him to hear Maxwell for himself, and he soon saw that such assistance was of the highest value.
As the work advanced Wesley held a conference at the Foundery in 1744.
In 1771, Francis Asbury, the Wesley of America, crossed the Atlantic. Methodism grew rapidly, and it became essential to provide its people with the sacraments.
In September 1784 Wesley ordained his clerical helper, Dr Coke, superintendent (or bishop), and instructed him to ordain Asbury as his colleague.
Richard Whatcoat and Thomas Vasey were ordained by Wesley, Coke and Creighton to administer the sacraments in America.
1714-1800): "It is purely a modern notion that the Wesleyan movement ever was, or ever was intended to be, except by Wesley, a church movement."
Despite his strong sayings, it was Wesley who broke the links to the church, for, as Lord Mansfield put it, "ordination is separation."
As a social reformer Wesley was far in advance of his time.
Wesley skilfully wove these into his system, and kept the whole machinery moving harmoniously.
In 1751 Wesley married Mary Vazeille, a widow, but the union was unfortunate and she finally left him.
John Fletcher, the vicar of Madeley, to whom Wesley had turned as a possible successor, died in 1785.