Wesley’s life during the last six years be spent at Oxford.

QUOTE: WESLEY returned to Oxford on November 22nd, 1729. Dr. Morley’s letter had suggested that he might take pupils or a curacy. He himself put eleven pupils under Wesley’s care immediately after his return, and in this work he continued until his mission to Georgia. Dr. Morley died on June 12th, 1731, and was succeeded by Dr. Isham on July 9th. The journal for 1776 * shows what a zealous tutor Wesley was. “In the English colleges,” he says, “every one may reside all the year, as all my pupils did; and I should have thought myself little better than a highwayman if I had not lectured them every day in the year but Sundays.” In later years he sometimes read lectures to his preachers on theology, logic, and rhetoric, in much the same manner as with his pupils at the University. As a tutor he was singularly diligent and careful, and laboured earnestly to make those under his charge both scholars and Christians.t

It will have been observed that Wesley was called to Oxford to preside at Moderations. Public disputation formed a large part in the University training of those days. The Moderator was the chairman and arbitrator at such discussions. At Lincoln College these exercises were held every day, so that the junior Fellow gained a thorough grasp of all the niceties of formal logic, which proved invaluable to him amid the heated and often captious controversies of later days. He gratefully refers to this training in a well-known passage of his works. “For several years I was Moderator in the disputations which were held six times a week at Lincoln College in Oxford. I could not avoid acquiring hereby some degree of expertness in arguing, and especially in discerning and pointing out well-covered and plausible fallacies. I have since found abundant reason to praise God for giving me this honest art. By this, when men have hedged me in by what they call demonstrations, I have been many times able to dash them in pieces, in spite of all its covers, to touch the very point where the fallacy lay; and it flew open in a moment.”*

Such was Wesley’s life during the last six years be spent at Oxford.

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The quote above is from The Life of John Wesley by John Telford – Chapter 5, OXFORD METHODISM and is found at http://wesley.nnu.edu/john-wesley/the-life-of-john-wesley-by-john-telford/the-life-of-john-wesley-by-john-telford-chapter-5/. Copyright © 1993-2011. Wesley Center for Applied Theology, c/o Northwest Nazarene University. All Rights Reserved.

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