Volume 1: Sermons I (1–33)
This is the first in an eagerly awaited series of four volumes of John Wesley’s sermons. It contains a detailed introduction as well as sermons 1-33 of Sermons on Several Occasions.
Volume 2: Sermons II (34–70)
This is the second in an eagerly awaited series of four volumes of John Wesley’s sermons. This volume contains sermons 34-70 from Sermons on Several Occasions.
Volume 3: Sermons III (71–114)
This is the third in an eagerly awaited series of four volumes of John Wesley’s sermons. This volume contains sermons 71-114 from Sermons on Several Occasions, as well as 6 additional sermons.
Volume 4: Sermons IV (115–51)
This is the fourth in an eagerly awaited series of four volumes of John Wesley’s sermons. This volume contains 18 sermons that were published in the Arminian Magazine from 1789 to 1792. It also contains 19 sermons that were taken from Wesley’s manuscripts.
Volume 7: A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People called Methodists
A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People Called Methodist, first published in 1780, was the definitive collection of hymns to appear during the lifetime of John Wesley. As the culmination of a lengthy process of preparing a ‘general hymn-book,’ he selected the 525 hymns presented here from more than fifty hymnbooks published during the preceding forty-three years. It was very distinctly Methodist in character. The arrangement of the hymns was carefully designed to reflect the Wesleyan concept of the way of salvation and the pattern of Christian experience.
Volume 9: The Methodist Societies: History, Nature, and Design
Two volumes of this edition of The Works of John Wesley present writings that describe and illumine the purpose and practice of the Methodist Societies, the particular ecclesiastical form in and through which Wesley’s work and thought were embodied. The present volume deals with the history, nature, and design of the Societies. This collection of material, though somewhat miscellaneous in nature, helps to recreate for the modern reader some sense of the goals of Wesley’s Societies, as well as the structure and practices through which those goals were to be attained
Volume 10: The Methodist Societies, The Minutes of Conference
This second volume focused on the Methodist Societies reproduces the Minutes as a formal record and conveys the nature and role of the Conference in Methodist life and polity during John Wesley’s time. Included is information from letters and diaries of preachers as well as from John Wesley, some of which is newly published here. This material highlights some of the problems that arose in the meetings themselves, which in Wesley’s eyes was merely summoned to advise him but, in his later years, almost imperceptibly became more of a legislative and ruling body, increasingly preoccupied with what would happen after Wesley’s death. Despite the breadth of this volume, the American Minutes are not included, partly because they were in no sense Wesley’s own work and partly because they could not be, at present, edited to the required standard. The Irish Minutes are included in an appendix.
Volume 11: The Appeals to Men of Reason and Religion and Certain Related Open Letters
This volume, containing The Appeals to Men of Reason and Religion, is the first to be published. The aim of Wesley’s Appeals was to correct current misconceptions of his movement. In the course of refuting attacks upon himself, Wesley also presented a positive statement of his theological and ecclesiastical position. Yet the attacks continued. This volume contains also his open letters replying to Edmund Gibson, Bishop of Exeter, and to William Warburton, Bishop of Gloucester.
Volume 12: Doctrinal and Controversial Treatises I
The first of three theological volumes, this volume is devoted to four of John Wesley’s foundational treatises on soteriology. These treatises include, first, Wesley’s extract from the Homilies of the Church of England, which he published to convince his fellow Anglican clergy that the ‘evangelical’ emphasis on believers experiencing a conscious assurance of God’s pardoning love was consistent with this standard of Anglican doctrine. Next comes Wesley’s extract of Richard Baxter’sAphorisms of Justification, aimed more at those who shared his evangelical emphasis, invoking this honored moderate Puritan to challenge antinomian conceptions of the doctrine of justification by faith. This is followed by Wesley’s abridgement of the Shorter Catechism issued by the Westminster Assembly in hisChristian Library, where he affirms broad areas of agreement with this standard of Reformed doctrine—while quietly removing items with which he disagreed. The fourth item is Wesley’s extended response to the Dissenter John Taylor on the doctrine of original sin, which highlights differences within the broad ‘Arminian’ camp, with Wesley resisting a drift toward naively optimistic views of human nature that he discerned in Taylor.
Volume 13: Doctrinal and Controversial Treatises II
The second of three volumes devoted to Wesley’s theological writings contains two major sets of material. The first set (edited by Paul Wesley Chilcote) contains writings throughout Wesley’s ministry devoted to defense of the doctrine of Christian perfection, including “A Plain Account of Christian Perfection.” The second set (edited by Kenneth J. Collins) collects Wesley’s various treatises focused on predestination and related issues, often in direct debate with Calvinist writers, including “Predestination Calmly Considered.”
Volume 18: Journals and Diaries I (1735–1738)
The Introduction to this edition discusses the nature of Wesley’s Journal, places it in the context of autobiography as a genre, examines its construction, and discusses Wesley’s frame of mind during its writings. One of the major functions of this scholarly edition is to reveal John Wesley “in the light of his involvement in the crowded forum of eighteenth century theological debate.” Wesley’s writings are saturated with references to Scripture, the Latin and Greek classics, the early Church Fathers, his theological predecessors, English poets and playwrights, and those “natural philosophers” exploring the wonder of God in creation.
Volume 19: Journal and Diaries II (1738–1743)
This is the second volume of Wesley’s Journal to appear in the critical edition of The Works of John Wesley. Covering the period from late 1783 to 1743, it documents — in Wesley’s own words — the formative years of the Methodist revival in Great Britain. Previously unpublished material from Wesley’s private diaries supplements the account in the published Journal of such key events as Wesley’s first adventure in ”field preaching,” the growing breach between Wesley and the Moravians, the formation of the first Methodist Societies, the establishment of the New Room in Bristol and the Foundery in London, and the emergence of the ”lay preachers” or ”circuit riders.”
Volume 20: Journal and Diaries III (1743–1754)
This is the third volume of Wesley’s Journal to appear in the critical edition of The Works of John Wesley. Covering the period from late 1743 through 1754, it contains four ”Extracts” from Wesley’s Journal (6-9) which document, in Wesley’s own words, an important period of expansion and organization in the Wesleyan revival. He describes in vivid detail the spread of the Methodist movement in the north and west of England, as well as its beginnings in Ireland and Scotland. This period of growing social and political tension is marked also by Wesley’s theological controversies with leading figures in the Established Church and his physical confrontations with riotous mobs in the countryside. His yearly schedule included extensive travel to visit the societies, and held the first conferences of Methodist preachers in England and Ireland to settle important matters of doctrine and discipline. He produced several key writings during that time, including three volumes of Sermons and two volumes of Explanatory Notes upon the New Testament. His writings in medicine were matched by the opening of a free public dispensary, and he continued to develop other social programs in education, child care, and finance for the poor. Features footnotes to quotations, key themes, and background information.
Volume 21: Journal and Diaries IV (1755–1765)
This is the fourth volume of Wesley’s Journal to appear in the critical edition of The Works of John Wesley. Covering the decade from early 1755 to the middle of 1765, it contains four “Extracts” from Wesley’s Journal (10-13) that document — in Wesley’s own words — a significant period of consolidation in the Wesleyan revival. He describes in vivid detail the growth of the Methodist movement, especially in the central portions of northern England as well as the spread into Ireland and Scotland.
Volume 22: Journal and Diaries V (1765–1775)
This is the fifth volume of Wesley’s Journal to appear in the critical edition of The Work of John Wesley. Covering the decade from mid-1765 to the beginning of 1776, it contains four ”Extracts” of Wesley’s Journal (14-17) that document — in Wesley’s own words — a significant period of growth and controversy in the Methodist movement. He describes in some detail the continuing spread of the revival into the farther reaches of the British Isles, the points of contention that threaten to disrupt the progress of the revival, his widening involvement in social issues such as the slave trade, the various attempts at union with the Church of England, and the spread of the Wesleyan movement to the American colonies.
Volume 23: Journal and Diaries VI (1776–1786)
This is the sixth volume of Wesley’s Journal to appear in the critical edition of The Works of John Wesley. Covering the decade from 1776 to the end of 1786, it contains three full ”Extracts” of Wesley’s Journal (18-20) and the beginning of his last (21). These materials describe — in Wesley’s own words — a crucial period that helps define the shape of Methodist theology and organization. The issues surrounding the manner of John Wesley’s leadership and the authority of the Conference within Methodism furnish the framework for this period. Wesley begins working with new leaders such as Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury and makes several crucial decisions regarding Methodism in America, including the matter of ordination. He also faces several continuing points of contention in Great Britain that threaten to disrupt the progress of the revival, such as the problems associated with the building of preaching houses and ”fixing” them on the Methodist plan. At the same time, he describes examples of strong local revivals that continue to appear throughout the connection and he fulfills his plans for a new chapel on City Road in London. Several crucial events in 1784 define the continuing nature of Methodist organization, especially the legal establishment of the Conference.
Volume 25: Letters I (1721–1739)
Although many of the letters of John Wesley are of value as literature — especially as crisp statements of his views or desires with little attempt at embellishment — their major importance is as a revelation of him as a man and of the people and events of his day, especially those linked with the Methodist movement. They furnish us, in fact, with a portrait through seventy years that is both more revealing in detail and fuller in coverage than any other source.
Volume 27: Letters III (1756–1765)
The correspondence in this volume illuminates critical developments in the Wesleyan movement between 1756 and 1765, including very significant rifts between John Wesley and his brother Charles and between John Wesley and his wife Mary, Wesley’s attempts to deal with radical enthusiasts and separatists (such as Thomas Maxfield) within the Methodist movement, his relationship to Greek Orthodox leader Gerasimos (Erasmus) Avlonites, and Wesley’s activities related to the Seven Years War.