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A Tragedy of Errors

The Story of Grace Murray the Woman Whom John Wesley Loved and Lost
  • By Gary Best
Product Description
The story of John Wesley's affair with Grace Murray and how Charles Wesley prevented their marriage by persuading Grace to marry John Bennet, who was one of the key Methodist lay preachers, has long fascinated historians, but most have tended to view John as the victim and been hugely critical of the behaviour and actions of the others involved. Grace has been described as 'impetuous, imperious, and probably a little unstable' and as an 'uneducated, vain, fickle, selfish and presuming' flirt, even though this does not tie in with either John Wesley's or John Bennet's view of her. Bennet has been dismissed as 'a cheat' and 'a treacherous, unfriendly man', even though Charles Wesley, George Whitefield and other contemporaries consistently praised his character. Charles has been accused of over-reacting to gossip and acting out of personal reasons. It has been alleged, for example, that he wanted John to remain single so he could retain the income his own wife required, and that both he and his wife were too snobbish to want to have Grace as their sister-in-law.

All these accusations have tended to obscure rather than clarify what really happened because they either ignore or do not pay enough attention to the fact that John Wesley was just as much to blame for what happened.Today, after decades of relative historical neglect, Grace Murray is beginning to receive more recognition as 'a strong-willed, capable and dedicated woman worthy of a distinguished place in the annals of early Methodism'. What emerges from this study is a remarkable woman - a pioneer female class leader and preacher, who, throughout her life, had to come to terms not only with the doubts and fears that can beset Christians at times, but also with the prejudices of her day. Dr Johnson represented those well when he quipped: 'A woman preaching is like a dog walking on its hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.'

What comes across most strongly in Grace's writings is her acute awareness of her own failings and her abiding faith in the redemptive love of God. When she knew she was approaching death she wrote to her son: 'God did wonders for me all my life
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  • Additional Details
  • Additional Details
    Product Specs
    • SKU: 9781910089378
    • ISBN 13: 9781910089378
    • Publication Date: 10/01/2017
    • Format: Paperback
    • Author: Gary Best

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