Means of grace

According to John Wesley's sermon of that title, these are 'outward signs, words, or actions, ordained of God, and appointed for this end, to be the ordinary channels whereby He might convey to men, preventing, justifying or sanctifying grace'. The chief means are prayer, whether in private or with the congregation, searching the Scriptures, and receiving the Lord's Supper. According to the Minutes of Conference in 1744, in addition to such instituted means there are also prudential means of grace, such as the meetings of Society, Class and Band. Wesley advocated their use in opposition to the doctrine of 'stillness'.

  • Ronald V. Spivey, 'Methodism and the Means of Grace', in London Quarterly and Holborn Review', July 1957, pp.188-92
  • Henry H. Knight, The Presence of God in the Christian Life: John Wesley and the means of grace (Metuchen, 1992)
  • John M. Haley, John Wesley, the Means of Grace and the Holy Life Today (Shearsby, 2003)
  • Ted A. Campbell, 'Means of Grace and Forms of Piety', in Oxford Handbook of Methodist Studies ed. W.J. Abraham and J.E. Kirby (2009) pp.280-91
  • Karen B. Westerfield Tucker, 'Wesley's emphasis on worship and the means of grace', in Randy L Maddox and Jason E. Vickers (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to John Wesley (2010) pp.225-41

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