I have been to London a few times, but it’s the first trip four years ago last month where April and I, with our friend Jen, made the Methodist Whistle Stop Tour. We knew there was some sort of monument to Wesley’s Aldersgate experience and heard it was a flame of sort, but we didn’t know what we were looking for. We found it outside the London Museum as we rambled along Aldersgate Street.
The house where John Wesley had his experience has long since gone, but there are a few reminders of what happened. Wesley wrote in his journal on 24 May 1738:
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 the leader 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 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.
Exactly the impact it had on Wesley is debated, but it’s hard to deny that something changed in him that evening, even if it diminished in his thinking years later. I don’t know if I would go the full way and call it a ‘conversion’, though. Any thoughts?