John and Charles Wesley
Their Method of being strict in observing the worship of the Book of Common Prayer took off and in time became a thriving denomination of its own. When it was still a movement within the Anglican Church, John Wesley wrote out The Character of a Methodist spelling out what a Methodist was not saying
THE distinguishing marks of a Methodist are not his opinions of any sort. His assenting to this or that scheme of religion, his embracing any particular set of notions, his espousing the judgment of one man or of another, are all quite wide of the point. Whosoever, therefore, imagines that a Methodist is a man of such or such an opinion, is grossly ignorant of the whole affair; he mistakes the truth totally.Instead of those sorts of distinguishing marks of doctrine, John wrote that a Methodist is determined by their faith alone. He wrote,
"What then is the mark? Who is a Methodist, according to your own account?" I answer: A Methodist is one who has "the love of God shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost given unto him;" one who "loves the Lord his God with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his mind, and with all his strength. God is the joy of his heart, and the desire of his soul; which is constantly crying out, "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee! My God and my all! Thou art the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever!"That being the case, I would like to be a Methodist myself, though I prefer to do so within the Episcopal Church. While not for all Christians, it is where I can most truly live into and nurture that "love of God shed abroad in my heart" with the liturgy that nurtured the Wesleys. But I give thanks today for the millions of Methodists (in denomination as well as Method) and the ongoing impact that two priests who briefly served in our diocese continue to have on the world.
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church