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The edge of Aldersgate

November 02, 2015
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS
DAVE HANSON


John Wesley was convinced that a person could have a spiritual experience which would give them peace, joy, and victory over sin. His friend and fellow pastor, Peter Bohler the Moravian, had convinced him to study his Bible where he discovered numerous instantaneous conversions in the Book of Acts. Wesley then said, “I see it can happen, but that was back then in the Bible and I just don’t see it happening around me today.” 

Peter Bohler said, “I can bring 10 people within an hour who can share their Christian experience.” He brought five people who gave their witness and Wesley said, “That’s enough. Don’t bring any more. I see it can happen and it can happen today. But, how can it happen for me?”

On May 24, 1738, John Wesley writes in his diary about what he called his “Aldersgate Experience,” a personal Christian experience that transformed his life and ministry. Some contemporary Methodist historians downplay this experience. They believe John Wesley was converted years before when he indicated in his diary that he and leisure had parted company and he intended to live every moment of his life in seeking and serving God. I believe this early experience was the beginning of a quest which culminated at Aldersgate.

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