After returning from the Colony of Georgia, in America, John Wesley's spiritual life moved on apace. Ryle now describes him as a 'man hungering and thirsting after righteousness." So he began, in 1738, a small 'society', which Ryle says "was the rough type and pattern of all Methodist societies formed afterwards."
He was always going up and down the land preaching, conducting evangelistic services, attacking sin, and preaching the message of repentance from sin. Wesley was undoubtedly different from his contemporary, George Whitefield, in one significant respect. Whereas Whitefield may have been the more 'explosive' preacher, Wesley, without question, was far superior to Whitefield as an administrator, something that was to greatly benefit the growth of the Methodist movement.
He was, by some, denounced as an enthusiast,a fanatic, and a sower of dissent. Sometimes, we learn, he was in danger of losing his life, such were the occasional attempts of violence against him.
John Wesley lived till he was 88 years old, and concerning his doctrine, J. C. Ryle does not shrink away from commenting on Wesley's Arminianism, explaining that he, Ryle, 'does not seek to defend his (Wesley's) objectionable opinions. However, from his remarks concerning the funeral sermon, preached by John Wesley following the death of George Whitefield, it is evident that Ryle considered John Wesley to have been one of England's greatest preachers and evangelists.
John Charles Ryle was born in the English town of Macclesfield, in the County of Cheshire, on the 10th of May, 1816. His education took him to the prestigious college at Eton, followed by time spent at the great University of Oxford. His conversion can be traced to a time when...