Both John and Charles Wesley returned
to England deeply dissatisfied with their spiritual state.
Still heavily influenced by the Moravians they met with in
London, the Wesleys joined in a 'Religious Society', and in
May 1738 both underwent a profound spiritual experience. John
famously described this in his Journal for 24 May 1738
"In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in
Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther's preface to
the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while
he was describing the change which God works in the heart through
faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did
trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation, and an assurance was
given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine and saved me
from the law of sin and death."
Three days earlier, following his own 'conversion', Charles had
written a hymn:
Where shall my wondering soul begin
How shall I all to heaven aspire?
A slave redeemed from death and sin,
A brand plucked from eternal fire,
How shall I equal triumphs raise,
Or sing my great Deliverer's praise?
Flowing from the complete assurance they felt in
God's love and forgiveness, their faith was lived out in lives that
went on to influence millions.
Charles went on to write over 6,000 hymns, while
John used his organising genius to turn a
spontaneous movement into structured body which became the origin
of today's world-wide Methodist Church.
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