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John Wesley

John Wesley (1703 - 1791)

Read freely text sermons and articles by the speaker John Wesley in text and pdf format. Was an Anglican cleric and Christian theologian. Wesley is largely credited, along with his brother Charles Wesley, as founding the Methodist movement which began when he took to open-air preaching in a similar manner to George Whitefield. In contrast to Whitefield's Calvinism, Wesley embraced the Arminian doctrines that were dominant in the 18th-century Church of England. Methodism in both forms became a highly successful evangelical movement in Britain, which encouraged people to experience Jesus Christ personally.

Wesley helped to organise and form societies of Christians throughout Great Britain, North America and Ireland as small groups that developed intensive, personal accountability, discipleship and religious instruction among members. His great contribution was to appoint itinerant, unordained preachers who travelled widely to evangelise and care for people in the societies. Under Wesley's direction, Methodists became leaders in many social issues of the day, including the prison reform and abolitionism movements.

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John Wesley's Explanatory Notes - Matthew 26
       XXVI. 1. When Jesus had finished all these discourses - When he had spoken all he had to speak. Till then he would not enter upon his passion: then he would delay it no longer. Mark 14:1; Luke 22:1. Verse 2. After two days is the passover - The manne ... read more

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes - Matthew 27
      XXVII. 1. In the morning - As the sanhedrim used to meet in one of the courts of the temple, which was never opened in the night, they were forced to stay till the morning before they could proceed regularly, in the resolution they had taken to put him to ... read more

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes - Matthew 28
      XXVIII. 1. Mark 16:1; Luke 24:1; John 20:1 Verse 2. An angel of the Lord had rolled away the stone and sat upon it - St. Luke and St. John speak of two angels that appeared: but it seems as if only one of them had appeared sitting on the stone without ... read more

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes - Matthew 3
      III. 1. In those days - that is, while Jesus dwelt there. In the wilderness of Judea - This was a wilderness properly so called, a wild, barren, desolate place as was that also where our Lord was tempted. But, generally speaking, a wilderness in the New T ... read more

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes - Matthew 4
      IV. 1. Then - After this glorious evidence of his Father's love, he was completely armed for the combat. Thus after the clearest light and the strongest consolation, let us expect the sharpest temptations. By the Spirit - Probably through a strong inward ... read more

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes - Matthew 5
      V.1. And seeing the multitudes - At some distance, as they were coming to him from every quarter. He went up into the mountain -Which was near: where there was room for them all. His disciples - not only his twelve disciples, but all who desired to learn ... read more

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes - Matthew 6
      VI. 1. In the foregoing chapter our Lord particularly described the nature of inward holiness. In this he describes that purity of intention without which none of our outward actions are holy. This chapter contains four parts, 1. The right intention and m ... read more

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes - Matthew 7
      Chap. VII. Our Lord now proceeds to warn us against the chief hinderances of holiness. And how wisely does he begin with judging? wherein all young converts are so apt to spend that zeal which is given them for better purposes. V. 1. Judge not - any man w ... read more

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes - Matthew 8
      VIII. 2. A leper came - Leprosies in those countries were seldom curable by natural means, any more than palsies or lunacy. Probably this leper, though he might not mix with the people, had heard our Lord at a distance. Mark 1:40; Luke 5:12. Verse 4. S ... read more

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes - Matthew 9
      IX. 1. His own city - Capernaum, Matthew 4:13; Mark 5:18; Luke 8:37. Verse 2. Seeing their faith - Both that of the paralytic, and of them that brought him. Son - A title of tenderness and condescension. Mark 2:3; Luke 5:18. Verse 3. This man blasph ... read more

Justification by Faith
      "To him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." Romans 4:5. 1. How a sinner may be justified before God, the Lord and Judge of all, is a question of no common importance to every child ... read more

Know Yourself
      The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: “God, I thank you that I am not like other men— robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.’ Luke 18:11 Just like the Pharisee, we often like to stand apart or to separate ourselves f ... read more

Law Established through Faith, 1
      "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: Yea, we establish the law." Romans 3:31. 1. St. Paul, having the beginning of this Epistle laid down his general proposition, namely, that "the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvati ... read more

Law Established through Faith, 2
      "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid! Yea, we establish the law." Rom. 3:31. 1. It has been shown in the preceding discourse, which are the most usual ways of making void the law through faith; namely, First, the not preaching it at ... read more

Make Peace
      “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” Matthew 26:52 Once again we find ourselves looking at the story of Jesus on the night in which He was betrayed and we remember how the crowd cam ... read more

National Sins and Miseries
      Preached at St. Matthew's, Bethnal-Green, On Sunday, November 12, 1775, For the benefit of the Widows and Orphans of the Soldiers who lately fell, near Boston, in New-England. "Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: But these sheep, what have t ... read more

Of Evil Angels
      "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in heavenly places." Eph. 6:12. 1. It has been frequently observed that there are no gaps or ... read more

Of Former Times
      "Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not inquire wisely concerning this." Eccles. 7:10. 1. It is not easy to discern any connexion between this text and the context; between these words and either ... read more

Of Good Angels
      "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" Heb. 1:14. 1. Many of the ancient Heathens had (probably from tradition) some notion of good and evil angels. They had some conception of a superi ... read more

Of Hell
      "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." Mark 9:48. 1. Every truth which is revealed in the oracles of God is undoubtedly of great importance. Yet it may be allowed that some of those which are revealed therein are of greater import ... read more

Of the Church
      "I beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and on ... read more

On Attending the Church Service
      "The sin of the young men was very great." 1 Sam. 2:17. 1. The corruption, not only of the heathen world, but likewise of them that were called Christians, has been matter of sorrow and lamentation to pious men, almost from the time of the apostles. A ... read more

On Charity
      "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so as ... read more

On Conscience
      "For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience." 2 Cor. 1:12. 1. How few words are there in the world more common than this, Conscience! It is in almost every one's mouth. And one would thence be apt to conclude, that no word can be foun ... read more

On Corrupting the Word of God
      Preached about the year 1728 "We are not as many, who corrupt the word of God: But as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ." 2 Cor. 2:17. [1.] Many have observed, that nothing conduces more to a Preacher's success with ... read more

On Dissipation
      "This I speak -- that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction." 1 Cor. 7:35. 1. Almost in every part of our nation, more especially in the large and populous towns, we hear a general complaint among sensible persons, of the still increasing di ... read more

On Divine Providence
      "Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered." Luke 12:7. 1. The doctrine of divine providence has been received by wise men in all ages. It was believed by many of the eminent Heathens, not only philosophers, but orators and poets. Innumerable ... read more

On Dress
      "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of -- wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; "But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of ... read more

On Eternity
      "From everlasting to everlasting thou art God." Psalm 90:2 1. I would fain speak of that awful subject, -- eternity. But how can we grasp it in our thought? It is so vast, that the narrow mind of man is utterly unable to comprehend it. But does it not ... read more

On Faith
      "Now faith is the evidence of things not seen." Heb. 11:1. 1. Many times have I thought, many times have I spoke, many times have I wrote upon these words; and yet there appears to be a depth in them which I am in no wise able to fathom. Faith is, in ... read more

On Family Religion
      "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Josh. 24:15. 1. In the foregoing verses we read that Joshua, now grown old, "gathered the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, for their heads, for their judges and office ... read more

On Friendship with the World
      "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of this world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore desireth to be a friend of the world is an enemy of God." Jam. 4:4. 1. There is a passage in St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, whic ... read more

On God's Vineyard
      "What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?" Isa. 5:4. The vineyard of the Lord, taking the word in its widest sense, may include ... read more

On Grieving the Holy Spirit
      Written in the year 1733 "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." Eph. 4:30. There can be no point of greater importance to him who knows that it is the Holy Spirit which leads us into all truth and into ... read more

On Knowing Christ after the Flesh
      "Henceforth know we no man after the flesh; yea, though we did kno~w Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more." 2 Cor. 5:16. 1. I have long desired to see something clearly and intelligibly wrote on these words. This is doubtless ... read more

On Laying the Foundation of the New Chapel
      Preached on Monday, April 21, 1777 ON LAYING THE FOUNDATION OF THE NEW CHAPEL, NEAR THE CITY-ROAD, LONDON. "According to this time it shall be said, -- What hath God wrought!" Num. 23:23. 1. We need not now inquire, in what sense this was applicable ... read more

On Living without God
      "Without God in the world." Eph. 2:12. 1. Perhaps these words might be more properly translated, Atheists in the world. This seems to be a little stronger expression than "without God in the world," which sounds nearly negative, and does not necessa ... read more

On Love
      Preached at Savannah, February 20, 1736 "Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing." 1 Cor. 13:3. [1.] There is great reason to fear that it will hereafter be sai ... read more

On Mourning the Dead
      Preached at Epworth, January 11, 1726, at the Funeral of John Griffith: A Hopeful Young Man. "Now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." 2 Sam. 12:23. The resolution of a wi ... read more

On Obedience to Parents
      ~~ "Children, obey your parents in all thin~gs." Col. 3:20 1. It has been a subject of controversy for many years, whether there are any innate principles in the mind of man. But it is allowed on all hands, if there be any practical principles natural ... read more

On Obedience to Pastors
      "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: For they watch over your souls, as they that shall give account, that they may do this with joy, and not with grief: For that is unprofitable for you." Heb. 13:17. 1. Exceeding few, not on ... read more

On Patience
      "Let patience have its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." James 1:4. 1. "My brethren," says the Apostle in the preceding verse, "count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations." At first view, this may appear ... read more

On Perfection
      "Let us go on to perfection." Heb. 6:1. The whole sentence runs thus: "Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection: Not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God; ... read more

On Pleasing all Men
      "Let every man please his neighbour for his good to edification." Rom. 15:2. 1. Undoubtedly the duty here prescribed is incumbent on all mankind; at least on every one of those to whom are entrusted the oracles of God. For it is here enjoined to every ... read more

On Predestination
      "Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son: -- Whom he did predestinate, them he also called. And whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." Romans 8:29, 30. Our ... read more

On Public Diversions
      "Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in the city, and the Lord hath not done it?" Amos 3:6. It is well if there are not too many here who are too nearly concerned in these words of the Prophet; the p ... read more

On Redeeming the Time
      "Redeeming the time." Eph. 5:16. 1. "See that ye walk circumspectly," says the Apostle in the preceding verse, "not as fools, but as wise men, redeeming the time;" saving all the time you can for the best purposes; buying up every fleeting moment ... read more

On Riches
      "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." Matthew 19:24. 1. In the preceding verses we have an account of a young man who came running to our Lord, and kneeling down, not in hyp ... read more

On Schism
      "That there might be no schism in the body." 1 Cor. 12:25. 1. If there be any word in the English tongue as ambiguous and indeterminate in its meaning as the word Church, it is one that is nearly allied to it, -- the word Schism. it has been the subje ... read more

On Sin in Believers
      "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature." 2 Cor. 5:17. I. 1. Is there then sin in him that is in Christ? Does sin remain in one that believes in him? Is there any sin in them that are born of God, or are they wholly delivered from it? Let no on ... read more

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