In introducing quotations from a small selection of Wesley's sermons and writings, Ryle remarks - "The doctrine of some of the discourses, I must honestly confess, is sometimes very defective. Nevertheless the volume contains many noble passages .... which are .... perfect models of good style."
Ryle uses John Wesley's own words to illustrate Wesley's strong belief in the importance of speaking plainly, he quotes the famous Methodist - "I design plain truth for plain people. Therefore, of set purpose, I abstain from all nice and philosphical speculations; from all perplexed and intricate reasonings; and, as far as possible, from even the show of learning, unless in sometimes citing the original Scriptures. I labour to avoid all words which are not easy to be understood - all which are not used in common life; and in particular those technical terms which so frequently occur in Bodies of divinity - those modes of speaking which men of reading are intimately aquainted with, but which to common people are an unknown tongue."
Wesley was not afraid to challenge prominent persons as to their responsibilities. He formed Classes and Societies and laid down rules for his helpers in evangelistic work - rules which Ryle says contains "wisdom for all bodies of Christians."
Ryle concludes his brief assessment of John Wesley by again calling on his readers to "remould their opinion of him", even though they may disagree with his Arminian opinions, he asks his readers to "take a more kindly view of the old soldier of the cross", concluding that John Wesley was a "mighty instrument in God's hand for good."
John Charles Ryle was born in the English town of Macclesfield, in the County of Cheshire, on the 10th of May, 1816. His education took him to the prestigious college at Eton, followed by time spent at the great University of Oxford. His conversion can be traced to a time when...