Wesley's Standard Sermons - Vol. 2

Wesley's Standard Sermons - Vol. 2

Wesley's Standard Sermons - Vol. 2

Wesley's Standard Sermons - Vol. 2

Excerpt

On Sunday, January 30, 1743, Wesley walked over from Windsor to Egham, a town on the Thames, opposite to Staines, some four or five miles from Windsor, 'where Mr. ---- preached one of the most miserable sermons I ever heard; stuffed so full of dull, senseless, improbable lies of those he complimented with the title of "false prophets." I preached at one, and endeavoured to rescue the poor text ( Matt. vii. 15) out of so bad hands.' I suppose Mr. ------ had been abusing the Methodist preachers. On March 13, 1757, Wesley preached from verse 16 at Snowsfields, but was feeling unwell; and to his great joy, John Fletcher, who had that day been ordained at Whitehall, came to his help, and took the Communion service along with him at West Street. He preached from verse 20 at the Chapel (i.e. West Street) on August 23, 1761.

It is clear from the passage in the great eschatological discourse ( Matt. xxiv. 24) that our Lord had definite prevision of the 'false Christs and false prophets' who would trouble the Church after His ascension; but it seems strange that He should refer to them so early as this. Probably these verses are an editorial insertion taken from a later discourse; but appropriate here because these false prophets would dissuade men from entering in at the 'narrow gate,' and lead them along 'the broad road.'

The main object of Wesley's sermon is to give his people directions as to their hearing and receiving the Communion from ministers of the Church of England who were manifestly ungodly men, or who taught doctrines opposed to those advocated by Wesley. It is of course well known that Wesley never meant his people to separate from the Church of England. In the Minutes of 1766 he denies that the Methodists are Dissenters; the Methodist services, he says, were in a sense public worship, but not such as supersedes the Church service. If they were they would be essentially defective. For they seldom had the four grand parts of public prayer: deprecation, petition, intercession, and thanksgiving. Neither were they, even on . . .

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