Did John and Charles Wesley use "salvation language" (eg "born again", "saved")

John Wesley: A resource of his sermons
"while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death." Source

"Ye are saved (to comprise all in one word) from sin. This is the salvation which is through faith. This is that great salvation foretold by the angel, before God brought his First-begotten into the world: "Thou shalt call his name Jesus; for he shall save his people from their sins." And neither here, nor in other parts of holy writ, is there any limitation or restriction. All his people, or, as it is elsewhere expressed, "all that believe in him," he will save from all their sins; from original and actual, past and present sin, "of the flesh and of the spirit." Through faith that is in him, they are saved both from the guilt and from the power of it." Source

"Ye must be born again." John 3:7

1. If any doctrines within the whole compass of Christianity may be properly termed fundamental, they are doubtless these two, -- the doctrine of justification, and that of the new birth: The former relating to that great work which God does for us, in forgiving our sins; the latter, to the great work which God does in us, in renewing our fallen nature. In order of time, neither of these is before the other: in the moment we are justified by the grace of God, through the redemption that is in Jesus, we are also "born of the Spirit;" but in order of thinking, as it is termed, justification precedes the new birth. We first conceive his wrath to be turned away, and then his Spirit to work in our hearts.

2. How great importance then must it be of, to every child of man, throughly to understand these fundamental doctrines! From a full conviction of this, many excellent men have wrote very largely concerning justification, explaining every point relating thereto, and opening the Scriptures which treat upon it. Many likewise have wrote on the new birth: And some of them largely enough; but yet not so clearly as might have been desired, nor so deeply and accurately; having either given a dark, abstruse account of it, or a slight and superficial one. Therefore a full, and at the same time a clear, account of the new birth, seems to be wanting still; such as may enable us to give a satisfactory answer to these three questions:" Source

Charles Wesley: Source
1 And can it be that I should gain An int'rest in the Savior's blood? Died He for me, who caused His pain? For me, who Him to death pursued? Amazing love! how can it be That Thou, my God, should die for me? Refrain: Amazing love! how can it be That Thou, my God, should die for me!

2 'Tis mystery all! Th'Immortal dies! Who can explore His strange design? In vain the firstborn seraph tries To sound the depths of love divine! 'Tis mercy all! let earth adore, Let angel minds inquire no more. [Refrain]

3 He left His Father's throne above, So free, so infinite His grace; Emptied Himself of all but love, And bled for Adam's helpless race; 'Tis mercy all, immense and free; For, O my God, it found out me. [Refrain]

4 Long my imprisoned spirit lay Fast bound in sin and nature's night; Thine eye diffused a quick'ning ray, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light; My chains fell off, my heart was free; I rose, went forth and followed Thee. [Refrain]

5 No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in Him is mine! Alive in Him, my living Head, And clothed in righteousness divine, Bold I approach th'eternal throne, And claim the crown, through Christ my own. [Refrain]
1. Come, sinners, to the gospel feast; let every soul be Jesus' guest. Ye need not one be left behind, for God hath bid all humankind.

2. Sent by my Lord, on you I call; the invitation is to all. Come, all the world! Come, sinner, thou! All things in Christ are ready now.

3. Come, all ye souls by sin oppressed, ye restless wanderers after rest; ye poor, and maimed, and halt, and blind, in Christ a hearty welcome find.

4. My message as from God receive; ye all may come to Christ and live. O let his love your hearts constrain, nor suffer him to die in vain.

5. This is the time, no more delay! This is the Lord's accepted day. Come thou, this moment, at his call, and live for him who died for all.
Comment: But a quick sampling. Image source: John,  Charles. A resource on Charles Wesley hymns


  1. Thank you, Jim, for the post. For more on John and Charles Wesley, I would like to invite you to the website for the book series, The Asbury Triptych Series. The trilogy based on the life of Francis Asbury, the young protégé of John Wesley and George Whitefield, opens with the book, Black Country. The opening novel in this three-book series details the amazing movement of Wesley and Whitefield in England and Ireland as well as its life-changing effect on a Great Britain sadly in need of transformation. Black Country also details the Wesleyan movement's effect on the future leader of Christianity in the American colonies, Francis Asbury. The website for the book series is www.francisasburytriptych.com. Please enjoy the numerous articles on the website. Again, thank you, for the post.

  2. Is the motivation something to do with those who argue that almost all modern fundagelical language dealing with soteriology is not that used by the older churches?

    1. Response to a relative who wondered why Methodists do not use this language

    2. Got it. As a former Methodist myself, my take is that (and this from a neat volume on Methodist history from about 1930 or so) they stopped using such language around 1880 or so as they started to adopt the "social gospel", progressivism, and liberal theology. Same thing with most of the mainline denominations, really--at least those without roots as state churches.


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