The Wesleys and Their Times

John Wesley


The theological foundations of modern pentecostalism can be traced primarily to Methodism and the thinking of John Wesley. Vinson Synan refers to Wesley as “the spiritual and intellectual father of modern holiness and pentecostal movements” (The Holiness-Pentecostal Movement in the United States [Eerdmans, 1971], 13). Another scholar has stated that “pentecostals are children of Wesley.” F. D. Bruner writes:

“Methodism is the most important of the modern traditions for the student of Pentecostal origins to understand, for 18th century Methodism is the mother of the 19th century American holiness movement, which, in turn, bore 20th century Pentecostalism. Pentecostalism is primitive Methodism’s extended incarnation” (A Theology of the Holy Spirit [Eerdmans, 1977], 37).

1. The Influence of John Wesley and Methodism – Wesley was born (1703; died 1791) into an Anglican home with a Puritan influence. He was educated at Oxford and taught there for some years. His brother Charles and some friends organized the Holy Club and were dubbed Methodists for their emphasis on methodical Bible study and the pursuit of holiness. It was Wesley’s views on sanctification that contributed most to the later emergence of pentecostal doctrine.



He was said to have averaged 10 poetic lines a day for 50 years. He wrote 8,989 hymns, 10 times the volume composed by the only other candidate (Isaac Watts) who could conceivably claim to be the world’s greatest hymn writer. He composed some of the most memorable and lasting hymns of the church: “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” “And Can It Be,” “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing,” “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling,” “Jesus, Lover of My Soul,” “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today,” “Soldiers of Christ, Arise,” and “Rejoice! the Lord Is King!”



John Wesley – The Founder of Methodism

John Wesley – Christian Movie

John Wesley – the Evangelical Revival (4 min)

Strangely Warmed: John Wesley’s Spiritual Journey


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One Response to MM #6 ~ THE WESLEYS

  1. traceytexas says:

    The truth about the Wesleys
    I was listening to an online sermon this week, and in passing the preacher spoke about Susanna Wesley – the “Mother of Methodism” who made her rocker her prayer closet by pulling it over her head, birthed 19 babies, took time for each child individually, homeschooling them and teaching them the Scripture! Yes, THAT Susanna Wesley. This preacher shed a different light on the family when he declared that son-in-law was so awful that Susanna said he was “little inferior to the apostate angels in wickedness”! Wow!
    I never realized how messed up the lives of the Wesleys really were! John, her son and founder of the Methodist church, married a crazy (or maybe her marriage to John made her seem crazy) widow woman and neglected her for the ministry (see…/sacrificing-your-marr… )
    The daughters were all very unlucky in love. One even had a child out of wedlock. (see…/voiceless-women-… )
    ” . . . the children of Susanna’s who made waves in the world were those who left her as young children to go to boarding school.” ~ a poster points out on this website:…/susanna-wesley-forgotten-…
    So sad!

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