The Methodist Magazine: For the Year ... ; Being a Continuation of The Arminian Magazine, First Published by the Rev. John Wesley, A.M. Consisting Chiefly of Extracts and Original Treatises on General Redemption

G. Whitfield, City-Road, and sold at the Methodist Preaching-House in town and country
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G. Whitfield, City-Road, and sold at the Methodist Preaching-House in town and country
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John Wesley (1703-1791) is the chief architect and source of inspiration to the teaching commonly referred to as Christian perfection. Among his many publications, the book that best summarizes his teachings on holiness is A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, as believed and taught by the Reverend Mr. John Wesley, from the year 1725 to the year 1777. For many years this timeless classic has been reproduced in various formats. Now, for the first time, John Wesley's 'A Plain Account of Christian Perfection' is being offered in a definitive Annotated Edition by Mark K. Olson. This edition is volume one in a projected three volume series. The Annotated Edition offers the following: · The entire text has been divided into chapters and verses for detailed study and cross-referencing. · The introduction examines in detail when and why Wesley wrote A Plain Account. · The verse by verse commentary discusses the history and background behind the text, offering unsurpassed explanation of Wesley's doctrine of perfect love. · Five end notes address Wesley's early doctrinal development, the impact of Aldersgate on his perfection doctrine, many testimonies of attaining perfection, and other relevant material from early Methodism. · Over 150 quotations from Wesley's sermons, writings, and letters offer unlimited clarification to his views on perfection. · The insights of many Wesley scholars are included: Albert Outler, Randy Maddox, Kenneth Collins, William Greathouse, Thomas Oden, Harold Lindstrom, Stephen Gunter, H. Ray Dunning, Theodore Runyon, plus many others. · A timeline details every event in Wesley's lifetime corresponding to A Plain Account. · Several exhaustive indexes are included: scripture, annotation, subject, author, Wesley quotations, and two synonym indexes from Wesley's Journal and A Plain Account. · The Essential Reading Section further empowers the study of Wesley's theology of perfection. Included are: o Twenty key sermons, along with their dates and locations in Wesley's Works (both the Jackson and Bicentennial editions). · Wesley's most important writings on perfection, listing their date and location in his Works. · 250 letters relevant to his theology of perfection. The index includes their date and location in Wesley's Works, with a brief description of their contents. Two additional volumes are planned in the series. John Wesley's Theology of Perfection will offer specialized studies for those wanting to dig deeper into Wesley's theology of perfection. The third volume, John Wesley's Doctrine of Christian Perfection, will present in systematic format every facet of Wesley's views on perfection. The projected release for both volumes is 2006 and 2007. Together, these three volumes will present one of the most thorough and exhaustive studies ever done on Wesley's most beloved, yet, most controversial doctrine.
 The works of John Wesley have been treasured for many years, and we are pleased to offer this 141-sermon set in three volumes. These sermons constitute the essential points of his beliefs. Many were published by Wesley himself while others were recovered from his manuscripts after his death. While reading these, you will find that his writings are never dry but maintain a vigor of life about them while maintaining a scriptural balance. He strived to reach the everyday man and bring him a living gospel, and this intent is spread throughout his sermons.

While Wesley had originally intended to publish a three-volume series, he went on to add a fourth. He desired to reach a larger audience with these printed works than he could with his daily sermons in person, and there was also a particular demand for them. The four books are comprised of approximately 44 sermons and are contained in volume I of this printing. In 1746, he had published the first book of this projected work, entitled Sermons on Several Occasions. He later went on to add another nine sermons to the series. The subsequent books were released in 1748, 1750, and 1760, respectively. It is important to note that these are by no means the whole of Wesley's written sermons; they were merely selected by him for the Christian reader as a kind of standard for his belief of many of the principal points of Christian doctrine, and have since become known as the standard sermons.

In his preface to volume I, Wesley himself wrote, "I have accordingly set down in the following sermons what I find in the Bible concerning the way to heaven; with a view to distinguish this way of God from all those which are the inventions of men. I have endeavored to describe the true, the scriptural, experimental religion, so as to omit nothing which is a real part thereof, and to add nothing thereto which is not." (Sermons on Several Occasions, Volume I, Preface)

For fifty years, Wesley had also written numerous sermons and published them in local magazines, many of which were printed in cities across England such as London, Bristol, Dublin, and Newcastle upon Tyne. With these sermons being placed in the hands of so many printers, it was inevitable that they would be printed in a combined publication, which was often the case. Because of this, in his advancing age, Wesley decided that he should undertake a reprinting of all of his works, enabling him to revise all of his works carefully and also to correct any errors that had arisen.

In his collected works he elected to print his sermons, commentaries, notes, journals, and more, producing an impressive thirty-two duodecimo volumes, the first being published in 1771 and the last in 1774. In the set of sermons that comprised those of the "model deed" included nine additional lectures that were not previously published, bringing the total to 53. These 53 lectures have are in the first volume of this series.


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