Green on Wesley and the Holy Club, Oxford

In 1726, Charles Wesley entered Christ Church as a student. After enjoying his start into college life, Charles determined to work harder and become more dedicated to the ideals he had learned at Epworth. He began meeting with a few young men weekly for readings in the Bible and discussion. In his book Young Mr. Wesley, V.H.H. Green notes that John Wesley returned from Epworth to work as a fellow at Lincoln College and joined the group.

In John Wesley’s oft-quoted words:

In November 1729, four young gentlemen of Oxford, Mr. John Wesley, Fellow of Lincoln College; Mr. Charles Wesley, student of Christ Church; Mr. Morgan, Commissioner of Christ Church; and Mr. Kirkham of Merton College began to spend some evenings in a week together, in reading chiefly the Greek Testament.

John’s devotional life had already a pattern which fitted in well with the society. He regularly attended the Communion service at Christ Church on Sunday morning at quarter past seven, usually breakfasting with Charles afterwards. On weekdays, he rose at an increasingly early hour, at any time between five and six, engaged in private prayer, read some devotional work and the Green Testament; throughout the day he sought to remind himself of his vocation.

The Holy Club widened its activities, visiting the sick and the Oxford prisoners at the Castle and the Bocardo. At first, Wesley confined his visits to the Castle to Saturday afternoons, but he soon went more frequently.

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