The influence of the Moravians on John Wesley
Last week, we considered the enduring influence of the Moravian movement, even till the 21st century. We titled that piece, RE-DIGGING THE WELLS OF THE MORAVIAN REVIVAL. One of those whom the Moravians have impacted in this century is my friend, Dr Jason Hubbard of Light of the World Prayer Centre. Jason was on the verge of quitting the ministry, when someone suggested to him to take a trip to Herrnhut to spend some time with God. When he finally got to Herrnhut, Germany, he visited the prayer tower to seek the Lord, and there the Spirit of the Lord fell on him. Jason left a completely transformed man. Today, his ministry has changed dramatically.
It may interest us to know that The Moravian had great influence on John Wesley, and indirectly, on Methodism. Their impact on Wesley culminated in his conversion. In Wesley’s Journal of Sunday, January 25, 1736, he wrote as follows: “At seven, I went to the Germans. I had long before observed the great seriousness of their behaviour. Of their humility they had given a continual proof, by performing those servile offices for the other passengers, which none of the English would undertake; for which they desired, and would receive no pay, saying, “it was good for their proud hearts,” and “their loving Saviour had done more for them.” …In the midst of the psalm, wherewith their service began, the sea broke over, split the main-sail in pieces, covered the ship, and poured in between the decks, as if the great deep had already swallowed us up. A terrible screaming began among the English. The Germans calmly sung on. I asked one of them afterwards, “Was you not afraid?” He answered, “I thank God, no.” I asked, “But were not your women and children afraid?” He replied, mildly, “No; our women and children are not afraid to die.”…I went to their crying, trembling neighbours, and pointed out to them the difference in the hour of trial, between him that feareth God, and him that feareth him not. At twelve the wind fell. This was the most glorious day, which I have hitherto seen.”
The Aldersgate Encounter
Wesley later comments on his salvation experience thus: “In the evening, I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate-Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, 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.”
His Visit and Observation
Apart from the encounter Wesley had with the Moravians on board a ship bound for America, he visited Herrnhut, possibly on more than one occasion. Andrew Murray in his book, Reaching Your World for Christ, wrote this about John Wesley’s observation, when he visited the Moravians in Herrnhut, “God has given me at length the desire of my heart. I am with a Church whose conversation is in heaven, in whom is the mind that was in Christ, and who so walk as he walked. Here, I continually meet with what I sought for – living proofs of the power of faith, persons saved from inward, as well as outward sin by the love of God she’d abroad in their hearts. I was extremely comforted and strengthened by the conversation of this lovely people.”
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