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Wesley, Reverend John

On many occasions the claim has been made that John Wesley, born June 17, 1703, died March 2, 1791, founder of Methodism, was a member of a Lodge at Downpatrick, Ireland. These assertions were carefully examined by Brother W. J. Chetwode Crawley in volume xv, 1902, Transactions of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, and his opinion is as follows: "Reviewing the circumstances of the supposed initiation of the Reverend John Wesley in the Lodge at Downpatrick, we are driven to the eonclusiou that the idea is altogether illusory, and based on a palpable confusion of identity. Equally convincing is the truth that the veritable John Wesley had not been admitted to the Craft at any time previous to his visit to Ballymena, in June, 1773, and that, up to the seventieth year of his age, he entertained but a dubious opinion of Freemasonry and its secrets. This last consideration compels us to the further inference that he did not join the Craft at any subsequent period of his life. Otherwise, the surprising change of opinion involved would not fail to have been chronicled in his copious Wand accurate journals and diaries" (see also Wesley's Journal, authorized edition, volume in, page 500).

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