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I’ve been reading "The Journal of John Wesley". In the entry for 24th May 1738, he wrote a detailed account of his spiritual pilgrimage. As a young boy in the family of a clergyman he had been "carefully taught" that salvation could only be obtained by "keeping all the commandments of God." Over the years at school and university, he wrote, "’I now hoped to be saved, by, (1) Not being so bad as other people. (2) Having a kind of religion. And, (3) Reading the Bible, going to church, and saying my prayers.’ I doubted not but I was a good Christian."
He was eventually ordained as a minister and lived very strictly, as he put it, "I omitted no sort of self-denial." But this brought him no peace with God. He went as a chaplain to the American Colonies and came under the influence of Moravian Christians and on his return to England in that January he realised that what he was lacking was "faith in and through Christ". He wrote in his Journal that he resolved to renounce all dependence upon his "own works or righteousness" and instead turned to a "saving faith, a full reliance on the blood of Christ shed for me." He finally knew he was converted when his heart "was strangely warmed" within him and "an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins."