Friday, July 7, 2006

Out-wesleying Wesley

Here's a brain-teaser for the philosphically minded ones among us: can someone be a greater Wesleyan than John Wesley, himself? In short, is it possible to out-wesley Wesley?

Intellectually speaking the answer may be no. However, in practice, there may be one man in the running. He was layman from England--a contemporary of Wesley--who became a Methodist, so called, with all of his might. His name was William Carvosso.

(Copyrighted Picture Courtesy of Wesley Center Online. Used with Permission.)

Never ordained a minister, Carvosso was a Class Leader of Methodist societies. He loved Wesleys' sermons and the Methodist Hymn-Book. He was just a regular man--except for the fact that he remains one of the greatest soul-winners in Methodist history.

Saved and perfected in love, Carvosso left behind Life of William Carvosso, a gripping retelling of this dedicated servant's life in God. (E. M. Bounds mentions Carvosso in his work The Weapon of Prayer, Chapter 11, "Modern Examples of Prayer".)

You can read his story for free. Click on my link to the Wesley Center Online. On their website, search the right part of the screen under "Popular Links" until you come to "Holiness Classics Library". Click on the link, register with the website (that's free, too) and download his book under the "Index by Author - C" section. Find "Carvosso" and his Life of William Carvosso title.

Now, the book is copyrighted so respect the rules and use it only for personal use, but enjoy the story of an entirely sanctified layman in the Methodist societies. Let the Holy Spirit inspire you, convict you, encourage you and convince you today. With all seriousness intended, you may fight back a few tears of joy and wonder.

William Carvosso remains one of my favorites in early Methodism. Please read Life of William Carvosso and see if he becomes one of your favorites, too.

Perhaps he out-wesleyed Wesley.