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The Missionary

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The number of works John Wesley wrote, translated or edited, exceeds 200. These include sermons, commentaries, hymns, a Christian library of fifty volumes, and other religious literature such as grammars, dictionaries, and political tracts.

Wesley's mind was logical and he wrote to present Methodist concepts clearly, in a style that could be described as terse and vigorous. His sermons are characterized by spiritual earnestness and simplicity. These have been described as 'doctrinal, but not dogmatic; expository, argumentative, practical.' In this sense, Wesley was a proponent of the experiential and psychological aspects of Christian spirituality.

Wesley's writings reflect his unceasing efforts to spread useful and practicable knowledge throughout his denomination. Through his extensive writings, he laid the foundations for the formation and learning of his travelling preachers and local class leaders. In this regard, his works built a school for the future teachers of the Methodist Church.

As extensive as these writings are, contemporary people are much more familiar with the hymns of Charles Wesley's than with John Wesley's writings and sermons. Charles Wesley wrote over 5,000 hymns. Many of these are still sung today. He was also one of the most prolific poets in the English language. The words of his hymns offer a language that speaks of the majesty of the divine, yet also create a sense of intimacy and presence that speaks to the individual seeker.

 


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