The John Wesley Prayer Collection

The John Wesley Prayer Collection

 

Three Books!

This collection consists of three books: John Wesley’s Tracts on Prayer, MINUTES, and John Wesley’s The Book of Common Prayer.

 

John Wesley’s Tracts on Prayer: These tracts are three sets of weekly readings published by John Wesley prior to his release of the Prayer book. The contents of this book are John Wesley’s Tracts on Prayer similar to those found in The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, A. M. – Volume Xi. London, 1733. 203-272, (which was used for the first edition of John Wesley’s Tracts on Prayer). For this edition I sought out the original booklets that still had substantive capitalization commonly found in early 18th Century works. The main difference in this book and the original booklets is the modern text-type; the Caslon type was too difficult to read. Other than that this book keeps much of the original style (especially the European English spellings).

These editions are preserved here because I felt they are more in flavour with John Wesley’s Prayer Collection. They have nice little surprises like Wesley’s Preface, not found in the greater volume; that was found in the individual Third Edition of A Collection of Forms of Prayer For Every Day in the Week. Little touches like that keep this book from being redundant with other collections of John Wesley’s work. Also found in this book are Hymns added to the collection of Prayers for Children. At the last minute I added a tiny delightful booklet called GRACES perfect to make this book complete.

MINUTES: This is the Minutes from the 1784 Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America. Presiding over the Conference were church leaders Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury. During this Conference they approved John Wesley’s revision of the Book of Common Prayer for the Services of the Methodist Church in North America. The Minutes were then bound with copies of the first edition. This booklet contains 81 topics for discussion ranging from serious matters of the church such as how to provide for Ministers, and how to “extirpate Slavery” to practical advice for “several Degrees of Fasting.”

 

John Wesley’s The Book of Common Prayer: This book was originally published in 1784 under the title THE SUNDAY SERVICE OF THE METHODISTS; IN NORTH AMERICA With other OCCASIONAL SERVICES. Wesley published this version toward the end of his life from the desire to give parishes of the Continental US a service book. This was especially needed for those churches who’s pastor covered a wide circuit and could not be present for every service. The duty would then fall to a sometimes less trained or experienced deacons.

Wesley would probably object to me calling it the Methodist Book of Common Prayer, but plain and simple, that’s exactly what it is. This is word for word the 1662 Book of Common Prayer chopped down to the essentials. The services are considerably shorter so as not to wear out the saints. There are a few interesting changes Wesley made to the content. Though I did an exhaustive study, I did not write up a critical comparison. I’ll leave that to the PHDs to quibble.