The ideas of Christianity before the time of John Wesley were definitely present, but not very defined or acknowledged. The Christian faith was very unstable and many common people were not sure of what to believe when it came to religion and faith.
John Wesley was minister of the Church of England. Christian Faith was a great power that entered the hearts of men and women, which transformed their lives, when people were willing to accept the transformation to Christianity.
John Wesley felt the power of the Christian Faith when he listened to a preacher in London on May 1738 when he was a young man. Wesley was then currently 35 years old, and was unsure of the work that should be done in the church. He was not sure what the standards were and whether he should preach in parish. He made up his mind that he would preach his congregations to anyone who was willing to listen and anywhere. He would travel anywhere for his beliefs to enter the hearts of people. For the next fifty years Wesley traveled all around England and Britain, especially in the Isles. Wesley would preach wherever he could find an audience, if there were no churches he would preach in graveyards, workshops, village greens, shops, water fronts, busy markets and stables and in some cases on a chair in the street. There were records that suggest he once preached on top of a pigsty in a stable, just outside of Winchester.
It was estimated that through Wesley’s travels, he had covered 250 000 miles, and preached around 40 thousand times or more. John Wesley preached his last sermon when he was 87 years old, in Sussex. It was an open air sermon and many believed his preaching had changed their lives. Many people admired Wesley’s faith and were truly inspired by his words.
Wesley never intended to form a new Christian church; although this occurred after his death. When Wesley and his younger brother had been at Oxford University, they gathered together and formed a small group of students who gathered together and shared their ideas about religion and faith. Fellow schoolmates for this; often teased them. Their nickname was the ‘Holy Club.’ The ‘Holy Club’ was very serious and insisted on keeping to a serious routine of prayer and bible studies. Although the ‘Holy Club’ was a harmless nickname, it led on to be the title for the new Christian Church.
John Wesley also had very strong views on the public and the standards of living that had been occurring in Englandfro almost one hundred years. Wesley persisted in voicing his feelings of equal rights for all human beings.
Wesley had helped Lord Shaftsbury, (other wise known as Anthony Ashley Cooper) in helping to raise the living standards of England. One important factor he changed were the cotton mills; also known as the ‘dark satanic mills of England.’ Children as young as six were used for slave labor and were treated very poorly. The children were crowed into workhouses, which were over come with diseases and crime. They were beaten if orders were not obeyed, and the food supplies were often very short, causing malnourishment.
Anthony Ashley Cooper was a strong Christian believer. Lord Shaftsbury visited the decaying mills and was an appalled by the state of them.
John Wesley was a true Christian believer who helped to lift the living standards of England along with Anthony Ashley Cooper.
John Wesley’s preaching all over Britain and England, gave faith to many people during his sermons, and his ideas of Christianity were greatly accepted by many in the English society. His wise words during his sermons gave a lot of faith. Wesley and his move to branch from the Christian church contributed to the stability of Christianity in England. Although Wesley was oblivious to the changes that he had made to the English Church when he was alive; after his death the many things that he had accomplished shone through and he was known as a great contributor to the new English Church.
1. “Religion Discovered”, AL Milner, Man and Macmillan, 1998