In London near the site in Aldersgate Street, where Wesley went to a little prayer meeting, Methodists have erected a gigantic bronze replica of the leaf from Wesley’s Journal, in which he recounts what happened to him on May 24, 1738, and how, in the evening, his heart was “strangely warmed.”
God Still Sets Hearts on Fire
Pentecost this year falls on Sunday, May 24th, which is also the date of the Reverend John Wesley’s “heartwarming” or “Aldersgate” experience. How fortunate! For what Wesley experienced on the night of May 24th, 1738, was a Pentecost experience. He felt the movement of the Holy Spirit, convincing him of God’s grace, warming his heart. This experience initiated the “Methodist” revival movement in England, eventually resulting in the birth of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States of America in 1784, the forerunner of The United Methodist Church, which came into being in 1968.
I love Pentecost and I love Aldersgate. I am looking forward to our celebrating the two events on May 24th and telling you about them both. By golly (no, by grace!) Pentecost just might happen again at 1201 Lavaca Street. Come and see!
“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.”
John Wesley, Journal
May 24th, 1738