John Wesley had a powerful spiritual experience at a meeting on Aldersgate Street in London on May 24, 1738. He described the experience as having his “heart strangely warmed.” Wesley’s encounter with Jesus Christ on that evening was intense and personal. He later wrote, “I felt I did trust in Christ, 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.” Aldersgate was a pivotal moment in Wesley’s life right on the cusp of the Methodist revival.
Too often the biblical material that so deeply influenced Wesley’s spiritual encounter on that day is overlooked—the Letter to the Romans, and specifically Martin Luther’s preface to that book of the Bible. In this volume of the John Wesley Collection, key resources for understanding the spiritual message underlying Wesley’s Aldersgate experience have been assembled: Wesley’s Journal entry for May 24, 1738, Luther’s preface to Romans, the text of Romans itself drawn from Wesley’s New Testament translation, and the notes on Romans from Wesley’s Explanatory Notes Upon the New Testament. These texts offer the contemporary reader insight into the biblical and experiential dimensions of the witness of the Holy Spirit and the assurance of salvation in the life of the Christian believer