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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 describein Wesley's own wordsa 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.
About the Author
W. Reginald Ward is Professor Emeritus of Modern History, The University of Durham, England.