(170391). Brother of C. Wesley*; founder of Methodism; b. Epworth, Eng.; educ. Oxford; ordained 1728; joined Holy* Club and became its leader; with C. Wesley to Georgia as miss. 1735; influenced by Moravians; in London again by early 1738; felt his heart strangely warmed May 24, 1738, ca. 8:45 p.m., at a Moravian meeting in London while listening to a reading of M. Luther's Preface to Ro; to Herrnhut, Ger., to visit Moravian leaders; on return to Eng. was opposed by organized chs.; nonconformist; began preaching in fields 1739; sent out lay preachers; provided chapels; 1st soc. of followers formed 1740. Traveled extensively in Eng., Ireland, and Scot.. For his theol. see Methodist Churches, 2. Hymns include tr. from Ger., e.g., Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness; Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me. See also Asbury, Francis; Religious Tracts; Scotland, Reformation in, 5; United Society.
M. L. Edwards, John Wesley and the Eighteenth Century, rev. ed. (London, 1955); C. W. Williams, John Wesley's Theology Today (New York, 1960); V. H. H. Green, John Wesley (London, 1964); R. C. Monk, John Wesley: His Puritan Heritage (Nashville, Tennessee, 1966).
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