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John Wesley's death

Throughout his life, Wesley remained within the Church of England, insisting that the Methodist movement lay well within its tradition. He became widely respected and, by the end of his life, was described as "the best-loved man in England."

Wesley's health declined sharply towards the end of his life. On 28 June 1790 he wrote: "For above eighty-six years, I found none of the infirmities of old age: my eyes did not wax dim, neither was my natural strength abated. But last August, I found almost a sudden change. My eyes were so dim that no glasses would help me. My strength likewise now quite forsook me and probably will not return in this world."

Wesley died on Wednesday March 2, 1791, in his eighty-eighth year. As he lay dying, his friends gathered around him, Wesley grasped their hands and said repeatedly, "Farewell, farewell." At the end, summoning all his remaining strength, he cried out, "The best of all is, God is with us," lifted his arms and raised his feeble voice again, repeating the words, "The best of all is, God is with us."

Because of his charitable nature Wesley died poor, left his life's work of 135,000 members and 541 Methodist preachers. It has been said that "when John Wesley was carried to his grave, he left behind him a good library of books, a well-worn clergyman's gown, and the Methodist Church."

He was entombed at his chapel on City Road, London.


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