John Wesley - His Life, Times and Legacy
CD-Rom Methodist Publishing House, 2003 (£14.99)
In the new John Wesley CD-ROM everything is attractively presented, the format is easy to follow and there are links to more detailed information both about the life of John Wesley and the world of the eighteenth century. There are good illustrations and users who would prefer to do so may also choose to have the story read to them. There are options for Powerpoint presentations and suggestions for acts of collective worship in primary and secondary schools. There is a wealth of information including a great deal of detail as to how the Methodist movement developed into the Methodist Church and an invitation to find out more, with information about places to visit and other resources. It is an exciting package and represents good value for money.
Among such a vast treasury of information, it is almost inevitable that there is the occasional spelling or typing error (Moravian, Spangenberg, Varanese, Culloden are among the words occasionally misspelled). But these are small quibbles. Also, of the sisters at Stanton Rectory, John courted
Sarah (Sally) Kirkham and not Betty. More seriously, the Journal for 24 May 1738 mistakenly substitutes 'God' for 'Christ' so that the 'quotation' is made to read, 'I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in God. God alone for my salvation'. But, despite the quotation marks, this is not what John Wesley wrote. He wrote that, at Aldersgate Street, while the reader of Luther's commentary on Romans '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, Christ alone for salvation.' This rather spoiled the whole effect for the present reviewer, but Jean Dowson, the writer and collator, has said that these and other corrections will be made to the second edition - and I, for one, very much look forward to it.
Reviewed by the Revd Dr John Haley, a minister in the Plymouth and Devonport Circuit
Headline Autumn 2003 p.21